Monday, 31 March 2008

Independent: right-wing Christian group pays for Commons researchers

(Ed: Note that the Roman Catholic Church also runs a Parliamentary Internship scheme, though the charitable status may be different. The National Council for Voluntary Organizations, itself a charity, also seems to deploy parliamentary interns - as can be seen in this job advert, as does the English Speaking Union. Is this therefore, I wonder, an objection to charities deploying parliamentary interns or to Christians doing this?)

An evangelical Christian charity leading opposition to new laws on embryo research is funding interns in MPs' offices, an investigation by The Independent on Sunday has discovered.

Christian Action, Research and Education (Care) faces inquiries into its lobbying activities by the Charity Commission and the House of Commons standards watchdog after accessing Parliament at the highest levels.

Twelve research assistants sponsored by Care are Commons pass-holders, allowing them unrestricted access to Westminster in the run-up to highly sensitive and potentially close votes on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology (HFE) Bill next month. At least two MPs face questions after they omitted to declare they have Care-sponsored staff. Read more

Also Editorial: An unsuitable case for charity
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