‘Woke’ National Trust chairman Tim Parker quits after rebellion over charity’s agenda


    The decision was announced a day after a group of members reportedly planned to force him out at this year’s annual meeting. According to The Telegraph, members of the charity, MPs and ministers have grown concerned about the Trust after a report published last September. The report spoke about the links between the Trust’s properties, including the home of Winston Churchill, and the UK’s colonial and slavery history.

    The rebel motion at this year’s annual general meeting, is understood to have been backed by more than 50 members, according to reports.

    The motion has not yet been submitted but The Telegraph reported that it reads: “Membership has no confidence in Tim Parker as chairman of the National Trust and asks that he offer his resignation.”

    It added: “It is the task of a chairman to see an organisation through a crisis.

    “The pandemic has presented the National Trust with severe challenges, and meeting these while securing the future well-being of the charity should have been the absolute priority.

    “Instead, the National Trust has been the subject of debates in Parliament and an investigation by the Charity Commission, which found that the charity published a report which generated strongly held and divided views without fully managing the risks to the reputation of the charity.

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    “The director-general has admitted that the timing of the publication of the ‘Interim Report on the Connections between Colonialism and Properties now in the Care of the National Trust, Including Links with Historic Slavery’ was ‘a mistake’.”

    The motion also stated that morale among the charity’s members is “at an all-time low”.

    It read: “The National Trust leadership has frequently been out of step with its members and supporters over recent years.

    “Unnecessary controversies have threatened to undermine the charity’s simple duty to promote public enjoyment of buildings, places and chattels under its protection.

    “As a result, morale among volunteers and members is at an all-time low and the National Trust has suffered, both financially and reputationally.

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    “The National Trust needs to regain the nation’s confidence, and will need fresh leadership to achieve this.”

    In November, Mr Parker told Trust members he hoped they acknowledge “that in no way the Trust has become a political organisation that has been taken over by a bunch of woke folk or anything of that nature.”

    Last year’s report by the Trust attracted widespread criticism and caused the Charity Commission to open a “regulatory compliance case”.

    At the time, the Heritage Minister said the report was “unfortunate” and that the Trust should go back to its “core functions”.

    In a statement, the Trust said it is “sincerely grateful for the service Tim has given during his seven-year tenure, particularly over the past year when he has supported the Trust during our response to the coronavirus crisis.

    “He has overseen a major savings programme to sustain the organisation through the pandemic and beyond.”


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