Anti-racism group funded by Sadiq Khan investigated after director ‘denied Uyghur genocide’

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Mayor of London Sadiq Khan speaks during a visit to the Islamic Centre of Southern California in Los Angeles
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan speaks during a visit to the Islamic Centre of Southern California in Los Angeles

A leading anti-racism group funded by Sadiq Khan is under formal investigation after two of its members waved Chinese communist flags and denied the Uyghur genocide.

The probe into The Monitoring Group (TMG), which has received up to £55,000 a year in public funds, comes after The Telegraph exposed the pro-Beijing activities of some at the top of the charity.

Bobby Chan and Peng Hua have now resigned as trustees, which was welcomed by representatives of Hong Kong refugees in Britain as a “major relief”.

However, this newspaper has discovered that the Mayor’s Office for Police and Crime (Mopac) was made aware of the allegations almost two years ago, but took no action.

Mr Chan was filmed picketing a concert in London’s Smith Square given by the pro-Hong Kong democracy singer Denise Ho in 2019.

Concert-goers branded 'cockroaches'

The footage showed him waving a large red CCP flag and placards depicting cockroaches, while shouting the word at concert-goers and attempting to film them while entering.

Meanwhile Ms Hua has published articles in which she appears to question the truth of Beijing’s repression of the Uhghur minority, as well as endorsing the human rights crackdown in Hong Kong.

A leading light among UK anti-racism campaigners since the 1990s, TMG also receives significant funding from major philanthropic bodies including the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust and Open Society, the charitable arm of billionaire George Soros.

TMG receives public funds to perform casework for victims of racism through its membership of the CATCH partnership, a panel of anti-hate charities, commissioned by Mopac.

A spokesman for the Mayor’s office told The Telegraph that Catch was now investigating both TMG’s activities and “its senior representatives”, despite the resignations of Mr Chan and Ms Hua.

Mr Khan’s support for the charity goes back to his time as a minister in Gordon Brown’s government.

A letter sent by Mopac to Chris Whitehouse, who represents Hong Kong democracy campaigners, said: “While those individuals play no part in the delivery of the Hate Crime Victims Service, we are conscious of the potential impact such an association may have on victims of racially motivated hate crime, who may be referred to The Monitoring Group for support via CATCH.”

'Bullied and intimidated'

Mr Whitehouse said: “These two resignations will come as a major relief to those Hong Kongers who have felt they have been bullied and intimidated by them in the past.”

The revelations follow a series of examples of individuals with apparently pro-Beijing sympathies obtaining positions where they purport to represent the wider Chinese diaspora to UK decision makers.

In January, this newspaper revealed how Pek-san Tan, an associate of the Chinese spy Christine Ching Kui Lee, had used her membership of a Metropolitan Police anti-racism advisory group to brand such criticism as racist.

She also attended meetings of the government’s rehoming taskforce for Hong Kong refugees, sparking security concerns.

A Mopac spokesman said: “The concerns raised about The Monitoring Group are serious and we have made clear the need for action to CATCH. The Monitoring Group have responded to the issues raised and two of their trustees have now left the organisation. We are awaiting the full findings of the CATCH investigation into The Monitoring Group activities – including its senior representatives.

Suresh Grover, TMG executive director, said: "I can confirm that both Dr Hua and Mr Chan have resigned as Trustees and Management Committee members. We are an anti-racist and civil rights organisation and our human rights values cannot be compromised by individual viewpoints or actions.

"We have taken steps to update the Charities Commission, Companies House and our promotional material to reflect the resignations. The organisational review is ongoing."

Bobby Chan and Peng Hua were asked for comment.

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