Orlando Fraser has been confirmed as the new chair of the Charity Commission, following a 12-month search for a permanent postholder. Fraser’s appointment followed the failed nomination of Martin Thomas. Thomas quit the post days after being approved by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee in December 2021, after it came to light that formal complaints were made against him regarding inappropriate behaviour.
We called for a full rerun of the appointment process and raised concerns about political independence. The DCMS committee rejected the government’s choice, and also questioned Fraser’s political independence as a one-time conservative candidate. The government has since appointed Fraser for a three-year term, commencing 25 April 2022.
We’re confident Fraser will bring significant experience of both charities and regulation. However, we’re disappointed the government didn’t rerun the appointment process. We felt it was important to have a transparent, open and politically independent process which gave confidence to the sector.
We look forward to engaging with Fraser and continuing our positive working relationship with the Charity Commission.