Viewpoint: It's a travesty to describe Marie Stopes as a charity

2008 postage stamp

2008 postage stamp

In a Facebook piece entitled: 'Charity or Charnel House?' Lord Alton comments on the news that the director of Marie Stopes charity, Simon Cooke, has had a massive pay rise and bonus bringing his salary to £434,000. His pay award last year increased his base salary from £173,067 to 217,250 making him one of the top five best-paid charity chiefs in Britain. He was then awarded a 100 per cent bonus. The Charities Commission has no power to limit pay awards but publishes guidelines that trustees should follow when reaching decisions. The Commission has issued Marie Stopes with formal advice requiring its trustees to to review factors they take into account when deciding the chief executive's pay and to keep notes of discussions.

Lord Alton writes: 'It's a travesty to describe Marie Stopes as a charity. Since when did charities pay their chief executives vast salaries? But no doubt Marie Stopes would have approved. She once said: "had I the power to issue inviolable edicts…I would legislate compulsory sterilization of the insane, feebleminded…revolutionaries…half-castes." Stopes attended the Third Reich's International Congress for Population Science in Berlin in 1935, two years after Hitler became Chancellor of Germany, and long after his racist and anti-Semitic views had become well-known to the world.

Four years later, she sent a collection of her mediocre poems entitled 'Songs for Young Lovers' to der Führer, along with a fawning letter saying "Dear Herr Hitler; love is the greatest thing in the world, so will you accept from me these [poems] that you may allow the young people of your nation to have them?"

And yet we put her face in postage stamps alongside the Queen. We name a charity and clinics after her and pay her chief executive nearly half a million pounds a year to run a business that spends its time and money killing babies in the womb. Charity or charnel house?"

Tags: Marie Stopes, Simon Cooke, Lord Alton, David Alton

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