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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 May, 2003, 14:01 GMT 15:01 UK
Charities watchdog call
Donation - generic
MSPs have called for a watchdog
Opposition MSPs have called for the immediate appointment of a charities regulator after one organisation was frozen because of account irregularities.

A judge ordered that Breast Cancer Research (Scotland) should be banned from representing itself as a charity after it emerged that only a small amount of the money it received went towards good causes.

The Scottish National Party and Scottish Tories said ministers have so far failed to appoint a regulator to prevent such cases.

At the Court of Session on Friday, Lord Drummond Young ordered action against BCRS after he heard that only 1.5m of the 13.2m it raised went to good causes.

I think the only surprise was that we haven't had very many other cases like this
Tricia Marwick,
SNP MSP

The judge also suspended the charity's trustees and ordered that its professional fundraiser, Tony Freeman, should not be involved in the management or control of the charity.

SNP MSP Tricia Marwick said it was only surprising that there have not been more cases like that of BCRS.

She said: "It was a disaster that was waiting to happen.

"I think anybody who is involved in the charitable section in Scotland would not have been at all surprised.

"The only surprise was that we haven't had very many other cases like this."

Tory MSP Bill Aitken said: "The executive received a report from the McFadden Committee some two-and-a-half years ago with regard to this.

"I would like to know where it's been since then.

"It's all very well closing the stable door after the horse has bolted but the fact of the matter is that if they (ministers) were intending to legislate it should have been on the statute book long before this and perhaps some of the recent unfortunate events would not have happened."

The Scottish Executive said a charities regulator will be appointed by the end of the year


WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's John Knox
"Opposition parties say the case comes as no surprise"



SEE ALSO:
Cancer charity accounts frozen
23 May 03  |  Scotland
Charities regulator calls renewed
23 May 03  |  Scotland
Scots dig deep for charity
19 May 03  |  Scotland


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