Tuesday 28 February 2017

Thanet Labour council apologises for selling charity donations for her election campaign

A Thanet Labour councillor and magistrate has been forced to apologise after it emerged that she had sold charitable donations to fund her election campaign.

Cosmetics company Lush gave 100 tons of cosmetics and beauty products to a charity called the Kindness Offensive to be given directly to the homeless, vulnerable and disadvantaged. They expressly forbade the sale of any of the products, even if the proceeds were to go to charity. Some of the cosmetics were handed over to a charity shop called Food for All who then handed them over to Cllr Karen Constantine to sell for Labour Party funds.

Charities are not allowed to make political donations and candidates are not allowed to accept them. They have both broken the law.

Cllr Constantine says that when she found out that she had unwittingly sold products donated to charity she made arrangements for the proceeds to be donated to a charity. She claims that she didn't know they were intended for charity and not the Labour Party but she collected them from a charity shop. A charity shop. What else were they going to be in a charity shop other than donations to charity?

Cllr Constantine's apology is meaningless when she continues to claim that she didn't know donations to a charity shop were donations to charity. If she won't admit that she basically stole from charity - at the very least in a moral sense, if not a legal one - then she clearly isn't sorry. She should do the honourable thing and resign. The Charity Commission also need to launch an investigation into the political activities being carried out at this charity and ban any trustees involved in the illegal political donations or any other political campaigning.

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Cllr Constantine (left) with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn demonstrating their support for the Socialist Workers Party's militant Stand Up toe Racism group