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July 31, 2014

U.K. Charity Watchdog Investigating Key 'Big Society' Group

The Big Society Network launched by British Prime Minister David Cameron to advance his namesake social effort is under investigation by the regulatory Charity Commission for alleged misuse of millions of dollars in government funds, according to The Independent.

The charity has received more than $4.2-million in public-sector grants and lottery revenue since its inception in 2010 as part of Mr. Cameron's signature "Big Society" effort to boost philanthropy and voluntarism and shift service provision from government to nonprofits and social enterprises.

Senior figures with government grant-making bodies have alleged they were pressured to make awards to Big Society Network projects despite doubts about their viability, The Independent writes. The Charity Commission is also investigating consulting payments the network made to two of its directors and its chairman, a donor to Mr. Cameron's Conservative Party.