Morecambe charity anger over MP’s Commons question

David Morris MP in the House of Commons
David Morris MP in the House of Commons
Share this article

Comments made by Morecambe’s MP in Parliament have marred the reputation of the town’s charities, says one West End organisation.

In a House of Commons debate last week, Morecambe and Lunesdale MP David Morris said he was “greatly concerned” that a charity in the town is being “interfered with politically”.

He said that he was required to raise the issue so that the relevant minister could investigate the allegations.

Mr Morris told The Visitor that he could not currently reveal the identity of the charity, however we understand that it is not Morecambe Bay Foodbank, after there was some suggestion he was referring to this charity on social media.

He said that an investigation is underway, but that the allegations are confidential.

But Tracy Kohl, from West End Impact, said she was angry about the comments, which she said could jeopardise future charitable donations.

She said: “I’m really angry about it. He’s put every single charity in Morecambe under the spotlight, and I think that’s absolutely disgusting.

“There are great charities doing great things here in Morecambe, but no-one knows which one Mr Morris is talking about.

“Everyone is going to be thinking ‘well who could it be?’, and will question whether they can carry on giving to the charity.

“It’s marring the reputation of every charity that does such great work here in Morecambe.”

During the debate about charities and volunteers on February 13, Mr Morris said: “Does the Minister agree that charities should remain autonomous and should not be interfered with politically?

“I am greatly concerned about a charity in Morecambe that is undergoing that process at this moment.”

In response to Mr Morris’ comments, Mims Davies, assistant whip (HM Treasury), the parliamentary under-secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport, said: “I thank my hon. Friend for referring to something that is happening in his community and may be a worry.

“The Charity Commission plays an important role in giving us comfort in that respect.

“It is an independent registrar, and it is the regulator of charities.

“The Government have recognised the demand for its services by granting it an extra £5m a year to help our charities to be at their best.

“If my hon. Friend has any concerns about that specific case, I shall be happy to meet him.”

Mr Morris told The Visitor: “At the moment we are not able to make a public comment on the particular charity as it is a result of an investigation.

“I was required to raise the issue in the chamber to allow the relevant Minister to also investigate these allegations which at this stage are confidential.”