Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday commended by MPs for investigations into charity fundraising methods

A committee of MPs has commended the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday for their investigations into charity fundraising methods.

The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC) has warned in a report that charity bosses who allowed certain fundraising methods to be used were either "incompetent or wilfully blind" and are on their last chance to "put their house in order".

In a damning assessment of the practices used by some of the biggest names to bring in cash, MPs warned the "sorry episode" had damaged the reputations of charities across the board.

Trustees must now take proper control of the methods their organisation use or face statutory regulation, it said.

MPs heard that some charities, including Great Ormond Street Hospital and Macmillan Cancer Support, made it difficult or impossible for donors to block further communication from them or other charities.

Personal information ended up with scamming companies after being sold on by some charities while vulnerable and elderly people were seen as "fair targets" by some organisations, they were told.

The committee also heard an undercover investigation by the Daily Mail found telephone fundraising contractor GoGen ignored the telephone preference service that allows customers to opt out of receiving unsolicited calls and had a script to allow fundraisers to continue to press for a donation even after discovering a vulnerable individual was confused or suffered from dementia.

MPs said they had "no doubt" that most UK charities did not engage in such practices but the behaviour of some had damaged the reputation of all and made it harder for them to raise money.

The committee said it "commends the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday, and Katherine Faulkner in particular, for the highest standards of ethical investigative reporting, which even the charities concerned have commended to us".

A Daily Mail spokesman said: "This was a very important investigation which led directly to the launch of the Government review.

"We exposed serious malpractice on behalf of the generous charity-supporting public who have been victims of cold calling sharks and a cynical trade in their private information.

"We are gratified that the committee specifically commended the Mail, and particularly our journalist, Katherine Faulkner, for the 'highest standard of ethical investigative journalism'.

"It is important to note also that the charities themselves recognised the significance of our revelations."

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