The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into the Islamic Centre of England Limited over serious governance concerns.
The charity is based in London and its charitable purposes include advancing the religion of Islam and education and welfare among the Muslim community.
The regulator's decision follows extensive engagement with the charity over recent years, which has included issuing the charity with an Official Warning. The Warning followed two events held at the charity's premises in 2020 that eulogised Major General Qasem Soleimani who is subject to UK sanctions.
A follow-up case in 2021 concluded that the charity was only partially compliant with the actions set out in the Official Warning and identified further regulatory concerns. These included concerns about the content of the charity's website and the trustees' management of conflicts of interest, and led to the Commission issuing an Action Plan.
The Commission has identified that the trustees have failed to fully comply with the Action Plan and Official Warning and a number of further regulatory concerns also remain.
The Commission has therefore opened a statutory inquiry into the charity, which will examine:
- The extent to which the trustees have properly exercised their legal duties and responsibilities under charity law, in particular regarding the charity's website and events.
- Whether the trustees are willing, and able, to further the charity's objects in accordance its Governing Document.
- The governance and administration of the charity by the trustees, including the identification and management of conflicts of interest and/or loyalty.
The Commission may extend the scope of the inquiry if additional regulatory issues emerge.
It is the Commission's policy, after it has concluded an inquiry, to publish a report detailing what issues the inquiry looked at, what actions were undertaken as part of the inquiry and what the outcomes were.
Reports of previous inquiries are available on GOV.UK.
Notes to editors:
- The Charity Commission is the independent, non-ministerial government department that registers and regulates charities in England and Wales. Its purpose is to ensure charity can thrive and inspire trust so that people can improve lives and strengthen society.
- The inquiry was opened on 14 November 2022, under section 46 of the Charities Act 2011.