In a letter to this blogger, whose complaint to the Charity Commission led to the closure of Liam Fox’s Atlantic Bridge charity, the Ministry of Defence confirms that Gus O’Donnell’s investigation will not examine questions raised by the Atlantic Bridge. This comes despite assurances previously given to journalists by 10 Downing Street that “All unanswered questions will be answered”.
In a further development the Charity Commission has announced that it is to scrap regulatory compliance cases. This was the informal process by which Atlantic Bridge was originally investigated. The announcement was made by Kenneth Dibble, the commission’s head of legal services, at a Charity Law Association conference in response to suggestions regulatory compliance cases were unlawful. However, the commission plans to ignore those – including its former chair Geraldine Peacock – who have called for its investigation into the Atlantic Bridge to be re-opened.
Clarification: It’s been suggested that this letter from the MoD refers to an investigation separate from that conducted by Gus O’Donnell. However, I would point out that in this case GO’D is ‘work[ing] with the Permanent Secretary [Ursula Brennan] to complete the [MoD] report addressing all the remaining questions that have been raised publically and privately by this issue’. Mr Reynolds’ letter, shared with you here, is dated Friday 14 October, several days after GO’D was drafted in to help Ms Brennan complete the MoD report, so I’m confident this letter refers to what has become the GO’D report. However, we now expect this report to be published tomorrow, so it remains possible that, given the weekend’s revelations, the final report will indeed refer to Atlantic Bridge.
Posts on the Atlantic Bridge are collected here.