Labour MP and former League against Cruel Sports committee member Chris Williamson has responded to hacking allegations against the organisation in the Times by describing the position of its CEO and current committee as ‘untenable’ and calling on supporters to save it.
Labour MP Chris Williamson has responded to an article in The Times: ‘The League Against Cruel Sports ‘wanted to hack rival’
The Times is today reporting that the League Against Cruel Sports is being investigated by the Charity Commission over serious allegations about the activities of senior management, and grave failings of governance on the part of the current trustees.
I joined the League Against Cruel Sports in 1976 and have been a trustee/national committee member for almost 40 years. But I was suspended from the board several weeks ago and I have now been expelled after raising alarming concerns about the actions of senior management and trustees.
Members and volunteers have complained to me about being harassed and bullied. A number of staff have left in unclear circumstances, and there are several cases against the League now pending at the Employment Tribunal.
No fewer than 9 trustees have left since July. Supporters have expressed concern at the current lack of direction. I and other trustees have raised concerns about the lack of transparency over recruitment practices.
There are also some serious questions to be asked about the organisation’s finances. However when some trustees have asked senior managers to provide information about the budget and other matters, this has been refused to us.
Because we have sought to exercise our responsibilities, and indeed our legal duty as trustees, some of us have been suspended, expelled or told that we are deemed to have “resigned”.
These are critical days for the League Against Cruel Sports. Hunters are continuing to pursue and illegally kill wild mammals for sport with apparent impunity. Yet the remaining trustees are failing in their duty to provide effective governance to the charity. They are potentially putting the very existence of the League at risk by ineffectual oversight of the organisation.
This could not just cause untold damage to the League, but also fatally undermine the animal welfare and rights movement, and all that we hold dear and stand for.
I believe that the position of the CEO Andy Knott and the current trustees is no longer tenable. I also believe that we need an Emergency General Meeting to take place at the earliest possible opportunity to discuss these issues and the future of our organisation. I would urge everyone who cares about our movement, and our cause, to join with me in saving the League.
MP for Derby North
Former National Committee member and Trustee of League Against Cruel Sports
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