ENGAGE reports that the Charity Commission has published the results of its investigation into Muslim Aid, and that it “found no evidence of irregular or improper use of the Charity’s funds or any evidence that the Charity had illegally funded any proscribed or designated entities”.
The investigation was prompted by Andrew Gilligan’s Dispatches programme broadcast in March this year. Needless to say, Gilligan is deeply unhappy that the Commission rejected his accusations against Muslim Aid as “unsubstantiated”. But you’d have thought Gilligan would be used to this sort of thing by now. Back in 2004 he was forced to resign from the BBC after the Hutton Inquiry found his accusations against Alastair Campell to be “unfounded”. And then there was Gilligan’s Evening Standard witch-hunt of Lee Jasper in the run-up to the May 2008 London Mayoral election. In July that year Boris Johnson’s Tory-dominated Forensic Audit Panel published its report which found that Jasper’s actions “did not breach any rules or protocols”. Are you beginning to see a pattern emerging here?
The only thing Gilligan seems to have learned from his sacking by the BBC was to frame his accusations in weasel words that would block a successful libel action by his victims. Hopefully that won’t be sufficient to prevent Muslim Aid suing him.
Update: See also “Charity Commission rejects criticism over Muslim Aid investigation”, Third Sector, 20 December 2010