The disappearing Mr Wallace

  1. On 30 June 2015, I noticed that the military charity Our Local Heroes Foundation had again redesigned its website. There was an important omission, though: patron Ben Wallace MP had disappeared. I couldn’t see his name or photo on the section of the homepage then listing patrons. There were now two patrons. Yet Mr Wallace’s website (www.benwallacemp.com) had nothing to indicate a change in his relationship with the charity.
  2. As a patron, the MP for Wyre and Preston North has defended the charity and its fundraising activities with Prize Promotions Limited of Blackpool to both me and others, including BBC Radio 5 live (see para 11 in my 26 December 2014 post).
  3. As an MP, Mr Wallace lends credibility to Our Local Heroes Foundation. Further, he’s been a minister since May 2015 – Under Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. His endorsement is worth even more because he himself is ex-military. People will assume that the charity is credible as Mr Wallace will surely have done due diligence. But former Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox MP was a patron of failed military charity Afghan Heroes (as was comedian Bobby Ball). Talking of Afghan Heroes, it too worked with the discredited professional fundraiser, Prize Promotions Limited.
  4. On 30 June 2015, I emailed Mr Wallace at parliament to ask whether his vanishing from the Our Local Heroes Foundation website meant he was no longer a patron. If so, as of when? No response.
  5. Two weeks later, I sent a reminder because he still wasn’t listed as a patron on the charity homepage at 14 July 2015. Again, no response.
  6. Nine weeks after my first message I emailed Mr Wallace a final time 1 September 2015 seeking a response to my 30 June 2015 message. Still nothing.
  7. The unresponsiveness of Mr Wallace is unacceptable, especially because he was responsive previously. Trustees of charities must be accountable; but so should patrons (see my 13 August 2015 post). I’ve discovered celebrity patrons unwilling to answer legitimate questions about involvement with a charity: trusted TV presenter Valerie Singleton, for example (see my 16 July 2014 post). Mr Wallace isn’t a celebrity. It is reasonable to expect an MP – let alone minister – to be accountable.
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