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Charity face probe over links to Brown.

AN ORGANISATION with close links to Gordon Brown face an official probe by the charities' watchdog.

The Smith Institute are under investigation for the second time in five years over their relationship with Labour. The think-tank, who work on education policy, are a registered charity.

Strict rules mean they are not allowed to have a political bias but the institute have held 160 events at the Chancellor's Downing Street residence since 1997.

The charity also employed Brown's right-hand man Ed Balls as a researcher before he became an MP at the last election.

The Charity Commission said: "The decision was taken in the light of new information we have received which raises concerns about some of the charity's work." Senior Tory Chris Grayling sparked the investigation with a complaint to the Charity Commission and welcomed the probe.

A spokesman for the Smith Institute stressed they were fully co-operating with the inquiry and insisted they will be cleared of any wrong-doing.
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Feb 2, 2007
Words:160
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