The former Tory MP Dominic Grieve has been appointed to chair a new Independent Commission which will vet Islamic Relief’s trustees and senior executives.
Grieve is a former Attorney General and former Chair of Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee.
As an MP he almost always voted for the use of UK military forces in combat operations overseas, including consistently voting for the Iraq war.
His Commission will assess the vetting of Islamic Relief’s trustees and senior executives, as well as reviewing and redefining expectations of conduct. The Commission will compare policies, procedures and best practice among other organisations to ensure Islamic Relief is modelling best practice.
It is expected to report and make recommendations in January 2021.
The news comes after two former trustees of Islamic Relief Worldwide recently resigned when the charity discovered that they had posted “offensive” and antisemitic comments on social media in 2014 and 2015. The charity elected a new Board of Trustees last month, and its first act was to announce this Independent Commission.
Dominic Grieve QC said: “I have been encouraged by the openness and honesty of Islamic Relief about recent events, as well as its determination to learn lessons and take responsibility as an organisation. This is an important Commission with a clear remit. I look forward to the challenge of advising and informing an organisation whose humanitarian footprint and impact is considerable.”
Dr Ihab Saad, Chair of Islamic Relief Worldwide’s Board of Trustees, said: “In setting up this Independent Commission we were very keen to secure independent, credible and well-respected third-party leadership for what needs to be a fundamental review of Islamic Relief’s practices.
“It is also critical that the Independent Commission is able to assist Islamic Relief in maintaining its principled and value-based mission, underpinned by humanitarian principles. In securing Dominic Grieve QC and Sir Clive Jones, we are confident that we are on course to generate a robust and relevant set of recommendations for Islamic Relief to put in place.”
Dominic Grieve QC is a barrister and former Member of Parliament who served as Shadow Home Secretary from 2008 to 2009 and Attorney General for England and Wales from 2010 to 2014. He was Chair of the Intelligence and Security Committee from 2015 to 2019. Mr Grieve was also MP for Beaconsfield for over two decades, from 1997 to 2019.
5Pillars spoke to a source who called Islamic Relief’s decision to appoint Grieve a “massive overreaction” and “completely inappropriate.”
They said: “Islamic Relief have obviously done this because they get massive grants from international organisations and they want to be seen to be taking things like antisemitism seriously.
“But it sends a really poor message to the Muslim community who provide so much of Islamic Relief’s income. Dominic Grieve is a Tory warmonger and has been intimately involved in security issues. Why would you appoint someone like that to sort out a vetting issue? Not to mention the issues about charities staying away from politics.
“Islamic Relief could have easily sorted this issue out by checking people’s CVs and Facebook posts more throughly. But instead of that they have turned this into a security issue.”