James Forsyth

A major test for the Charity Commission<br />

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There are few more damaging allegations against the trustee of a charity than that they forged the signature of a fellow trustee on a document. But that is what Khalid Mahmood, the MP for Birmingham Perry Bar, is alleging has happened to him. Mahmood told the Sunday Times that his signature had been forged on the declaration of trust sent by the North London Mosque to the Charity Commission.

Mahmood's accusation is incredibly serious and he has referred it to the Charity Commission. When I contacted the Charity Commission today, I received this statement from them:  "The Charity Commission is aware of the allegations made relating to the North London Central Mosque (registered charity no.299884) and we are considering what, if any, regulatory concerns there are for the Commission."

I must admit to being shocked by the lack of urgency in the Commission's statement. Considering the history of the North London Central Mosque, it was Abu Hamza's base and Mahmood became a trustee as part of an effort to deradicalise the mosque, it seems imperative that this matter is resolved speedily. If Mahmood's accusation is accurate, then the full force of the law should be brought to bear on those responsible.