THE goodwill of Monmouth residents is being “abused” by a veterans’ charity with alleged links to the far-right British National Party (BNP), an MP has claimed.
David Davies MP questioned the “extremist connection” to Soldiers off the Streets and said he was concerned the charity had been fundraising in Monmouth town centre.
Soldiers off the Streets was reportedly set up by Hugh William “Bill” Murray, the BNP’s former secretary for Wales – once a close associate of the party’s leader, Nick Griffin.
It was given charitable status in August 2010.
“I am very concerned that a charity with close links to the BNP has been collecting money in Monmouth,” said Mr Davies.
“I did challenge one of the fundraisers and explained my concerns but he had an identity card, so was not breaking the law.
“However, I am worried that the huge support which exists within the town for the armed forces is being exploited.”
Mr Davies also drew attention to the charity’s accounts, suggesting it has spent more on expenses than on measures to help homeless ex-service personnel.
“I have looked at the accounts for Soldiers off the Streets and noted with interest the amount spent on ‘motor expenses’ is higher than that on ‘welfare costs’,” he said.
“I would certainly recommend people give donations to well respected charities instead like the Royal British Legion, Help for Heroes, Combat Street or the locally-based Richard Hunt Foundation.
“That way, they can be sure their money will go to those who need it.”
A link to the latest accounts for Soldiers off the Streets can be found at http://apps.charitycommission.gov.uk/Accounts/Ends94/0001137594_AC_20140828_E_C.PDF