The chairman of the National Trust has been widely criticised for publicly backing the Black Lives Matter (BLM) group despite its openly anti-capitalist and anti-police agenda. Tim Parker has described BLM as a ‘human rights movement with no party-political affiliations’, this is despite registering as a political party last month.
This isn’t the first time the National Trust has been widely criticised for becoming political. Last month it released a report which stated that a third of its sites had ties to the ‘sometimes uncomfortable role that Britain, and Britons, have played in global history.’
In his letter to members, Mr Parker, who took on his current role in 2014 stated that the Trust was ‘committed to anti-racism and to creating a diverse, inclusive and welcoming environment’. His letter also said: ‘We understand Black Lives Matter currently is a worldwide human rights movement with no party-political affiliations in the UK. Our recent report aimed to give greater clarity and transparency about sources of wealth, to help deepen and enrich understanding of our remarkable places, art and objects’.
UNN’s Oliver Down understands that as a result of this latest news and other recent interventions, the charity regulator could investigate the National Trust in order to determine whether it has strayed away from its ‘clear, simple purpose’ of preserving historic buildings and treasures. All of this comes amid the backdrop of a debate regarding ‘the future of the National Trust’ taking place in the Commons next week.
The Conservative party MP Sir John Hayes has accused the National trust of being an organisation being run by ‘out of touch, bourgeois elite’. He also said: ‘BLM is a militant campaigning organisation and I can only think the reason that the National Trust used that language was they somehow feel it creates a veil of respectability around what they have done. The people who visit the properties the National Trust has responsibility for do not sign up to any of the agenda that is being perpetrated by the people who run it’.