'We've campaigned for Brexit for years' WORLDwrite charity chief Ceri Dingle told rally in 2016
PUBLISHED: 17:36 15 May 2019 | UPDATED: 18:00 15 May 2019
New evidence has emerged suggesting Lower Clapton charity WORLDwrite may have breached the Charity Commission code - in the form of a video in which its director tells a Brexit rally the organisation has been "campaigning for years to get out" of the EU.
In the clip shot outside the Houses of Westminster in 2016, Ceri Dingle says the charity has "taken a stand" in spite of Charity Commission rules because it "believed in democracy".
The Charity Commission told us earlier this month it was aware of "serious concerns" and assessing WORLDwrite's compliance with its guidance that British charities may only engage in campaigning and political activity "in furtherance of their charitable purposes".
A Gazette investigation revealed the educational charity had been promoting an apparently pro-Brexit, anti-feminist, anti-environmental agenda while renting a building in Millfields Road from Hackney Council.
You may also want to watch:
In the video shot by the Ruptly news agency, owned by news network Russia Today, Ms Dingle starts by leading a chant calling on the government to "invoke article 50".
She then introduces herself, stating she is from WORLDwrite and citizen TV station WORLDbytes, adding: "We voted out. Despite the Charity Commission saying we're not allowed to have a view as a charity and we aren't allowed to take a stand, we did take a stand because we are democrats - and what sort of charity doesn't uphold democracy and believes in censorship?
"Freedom and democracy are not separable - they are one and the same. The EU is against both of those things - we've been campaigning for years to get out."
Ms Dingle this week defended her support of the rally, telling the Gazette it was "arranged to press the government to uphold democracy in practice and challenge prevailing prejudice". "This is a stance we see as foundational for the advancement of citizenship," she said.
"Any failure on our part to take a stand against the condescending and misanthropic idea that 'leave' voters are ignorant racists would be a direct contradiction of our charitable objects. During the referendum and since, we have endorsed no political party, and campaigned strictly to deliver on our charitable objects."