National Trust members concerned about charity’s ‘woke programme’ demand watchdog

Campaigners concerned with the National Trust’s ‘woke’ leadership are demanding the creation of an independent watchdog to hold the charity accountable to its members.

It comes after a series of ‘woke’ controversies involving the National Trust, including the publication of a report linking Winston Churchill’s former home to the slave trade and an attempt to force volunteers at a Norfolk mansion to wear the gay pride rainbow on lanyards and badges.

Restore Trust, an anti-revival group made up of National Trust members, is campaigning for the creation of a watchdog as well as the abolition of “discretionary voting” by the president at annual meetings.

According Restore trust.

The two resolutions submitted by Restore Trust will be debated at the National Trust’s annual meeting in October, although even if passed they could be overruled by the charity’s board.

Restore Trust, an anti-revival group made up of National Trust members, is agitating for the brakes to be put on the direction of National Trust travel, following the publication of a report in 2020 linking the former home of Winston Churchill ( photo), Chartwell, Kent, with the slave trade

Without an independent watchdog, complaints about the behavior of the National Trust will continue to be dealt with by the organization's chairman, who is not seen as independent of the board.  Pictured: Polesden Lacey country mansion in Great Bookham, Surrey

Without an independent watchdog, complaints about the behavior of the National Trust will continue to be dealt with by the organization’s chairman, who is not seen as independent of the board. Pictured: Polesden Lacey country mansion in Great Bookham, Surrey

Former National Trust chairman Tim Parker got himself into hot water in November 2020 when he made uncritical remarks on Black Lives Matter, while the trust's current chief executive Hilary McGrady , stated that

Former National Trust chairman Tim Parker got himself into hot water in November 2020 when he made uncritical remarks on Black Lives Matter, while the trust’s current chief executive Hilary McGrady , said that “wokery” is a “ridiculous term”. Pictured: Ickworth House, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

Without an independent watchdog, complaints about the behavior of the National Trust will continue to be dealt with by the organization’s chairman, who is not seen as independent of the board.

Former National Trust chairman Tim Parker found himself in hot water with anti-revival campaigners in November 2020, when he described Black Lives Matter as an ‘unaffiliated human rights movement’. policy to a party” in a letter to a member.

Critics, however, point out that Black Lives Matter called on the UK government to “defund the police” and decided to “disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure” on a since-deleted page on their website.

Tim Parker stepped down after seven years as chairman of the National Trust in May 2021.

Over the next three months, Restore Trust will hold a series of events at National Trust properties – including at Houghton Hall in Norfolk and Shilstone House in Devon – with sympathetic historians invited to advocate for the setting up place of a check on the charity. direction of travel.

The trust was cleared of breaching the Charity Act last year over a report detailing links between 93 of its properties and historic slavery and colonialism.

Winston Churchill’s former home, Chartwell, Kent, was among the properties on the list as the wartime prime minister served as Colonial Secretary of State.

Former National Trust boss Tim Parker found himself in hot water with anti-revival campaigners in November 2020, when he described Black Lives Matter as an 'unaffiliated human rights movement'. policy to a party'' in a letter to a member.

Former National Trust boss Tim Parker found himself in hot water with anti-revival campaigners in November 2020, when he described Black Lives Matter as an ‘unaffiliated human rights movement’. policy to a party” in a letter to a member.

It's such a ridiculous term, wokery.  No one has yet defined what they mean by woke,' new National Trust chief executive Hilary McGrady said in May 2022.

“It’s such a ridiculous term, wokery. No one has yet defined what they mean by woke,’ new National Trust chief executive Hilary McGrady said in May 2022.

Following complaints, the Charity Commission opened a case to examine critics’ concerns, but concluded in January this year that the National Trust had acted in accordance with its charitable purposes and that there were no grounds for take regulatory action against it.

In 2017, 350 unpaid National Trust aides at Norfolk mansion Felbrigg Hall were ordered to wear gay pride badges and lanyards or be removed from duties in front of the house, triggering a pushback and resignation of 75 volunteers and the cancellation of 240 memberships.

National Trust chief executive Hilary McGrady said in May she had received “death threats” from people angry at her handling of British heritage sites.

Hilary McGrady said the charity “embodies what many people consider to be Britain’s halcyon days”, and “anything vaguely close to it” could only upset them.

McGrady said in May: “It’s such a ridiculous term, wokery. No one has yet defined what they mean by awake.

“I’m interested in bringing nature, beauty, and history to the nation, and I don’t even know what ‘woke’ means in that context.”