It is reasonable for the public to expect honesty, transparency, integrity and accountability from charities. Unfortunately, in the case of Cancer Research UK (CRUK) you get none of them.
That CRUK happily turned a blind eye to the fraud of their then employee Jill MacRae has been a matter of record for some time.
MacRae infamously claimed to be the creator of the Race for Life after stealing the event from its real inventor, Jim Cowan. So brazen was she that she even threatened Cowan with legal action if he did not desist from his own, honest, claim. But he stood firm and MacRae, now with Barnardo’s, backed down and removed all such claims from her social media.
However, by including this false claim on her CV, she committed an act of fraud, an act supported by CRUK who happily provided references to that effect. Indeed, historically CRUK recognised MacRae as the event’s creator, a falsehood they have never corrected.
Initially they supported MacRae’s dishonesty and fraud, then they cited a series of other origins for the event before, eventually, rather than show integrity and admit they had been wrong, they adopted a line of ‘not one person was responsible for creating the event.’ This, despite all evidence clearly showing Cowan did create the event. And, in not corrected the lies, in continuing to deny Cowan any recognition, they display a lack of honesty, a lack of accountability, and a complete absence of integrity.
CRUK’s dishonesty is further evidenced by the numerous deliberately misleading claims they make to draw people into their events. Take for example the claim, ‘this is beating cancer’ used to promote the Race for Life. The reality is that not a single penny from the event entry fees went to research and not a single penny from merchandising went to funding research. Clearly not ‘beating cancer’ but more likely funding the corporate excess CRUK enjoy.
In fairness to CRUK, those entering the Race for Life who decided to also raise sponsorship might well have contributed to ‘beating cancer’ but that is not what the advertising claimed. And, when challenged, CRUK would not clarify what percentage of funds raise through sponsorship went to actual research, went to actually ‘beating cancer.’
It is a very murky picture. It is a picture of deliberately misleading claims, of outright dishonesty, of a absence of integrity, and a complete lack of transparency and accountability. It is certainly not what the public should expect from a charity.
And this is what we know about. How much dishonesty remains uncovered?
For where there is one lie, there are usually more. And when an organisation lies with so ease and such frequency it is usually because dishonesty is so deeply embedded within its culture.
IN THE RACE FOR TRUTH, CANCER RESEARCH UK ARE LAGGING BEHIND
Cancer Research UK Chief Executive Michelle Mitchell has laughably Tweeted about the importance of striking a deal for the UK to remain a member of Horizon Europe, the EU’s Research & Innovation Programme.
Well, in her Tweet Mitchell states; “lack of participation would be a significant blow to science and cancer research in the UK and weaken our position to collaborate.”
But the question must be posed; why would anyone trust Mitchell and the organisation she heads enough to collaborate with them?
Because Cancer Research UK (CRUK) are the organisation Jim Cowan took his amazing idea (the Race for Life) to with the intention of organising it and CRUK benefitting. You know, a collaboration.
However, instead of collaborating with Jim, CRUK employee Jill MacRae stole the idea before fraudulently claiming it as her own. The silence of subsequent Chief Executives Harpal Kumar and Michelle Mitchell, as well as Chairman Leszek Borysiewicz, despite being fully informed on the matter, exposes CRUK as an organisation which will steal ideas from those it is pretending to collaborate with, cover up the theft, support fraud, all without giving it a second thought, and without any sign of integrity or moral compass.
Yes Ms Mitchell, remaining members of Horizon Europe would undoubtedly benefit the UK. But, fully informed, who in their right mind would collaborate with you?
In the Race 4 Truth, Cancer Research UK are lagging behind.
In May we reported how Race for Life creator Jim Cowan had written to Cancer Research UK’s Chief Executive, Michelle Mitchell, asking her to make the organisation’s in-house inquiry into the origins of the Race for Life public.
Why? Because it was a flawed, some may say dishonest, inquiry with no purpose other than to avoid facing up to facts. To continue the cover up of the truth.
The ‘inquiry’ avoided evidence and ducked talking to witnesses before reaching the (predictable) conclusion that, “the origins of the Race for Life are not clear.”
As regular visitors to the Race 4 Truth will know, the evidence clearly shows the opposite, it clearly shows that the creator of the Race for Life was Jim Cowan. And with the testimony of witnesses who were involved at the time, that evidence only becomes stronger.
We support Jim Cowan in asking that the ‘inquiry’ be made public. We ask Michelle Mitchell a very simple question; if the inquiry was thorough and conducted with integrity, what have you got to hide? What is it you fear from public scrutiny?
Unfortunately (predictably) since Jim’s letter and our article and social media posts reporting it, the silence has been deafening. No reply, no comment, and certainly no signs that Mitchell will do the decent thing and open the ‘inquiry’ to the public eye. It is clear, as we know, that there is something amiss here, something less than honest about the so-called inquiry.
Now, following over two months of silence, Jim Cowan has written three new open letters (*transcript below). This time he has written to the bosses of the Race for Life’s corporate partners Tesco, Scottish Power and Global (who own Heart).
In his letters he asks them a simple question:
“I am asking you to consider what asking Cancer Research UK to open their inquiry to public scrutiny would say about your corporate and brand values? And, I would ask you to consider what not doing so would infer about those same values?”
He goes on:
“You could play a part in righting this wrong of over a quarter of a century. Or you could turn a blind eye and let it continue. There are many reasons to open this inquiry to public scrutiny, none of them bad. I can only think of one reason not to, and that is to keep the truth buried. I hope I can put faith in your values to do the right thing.”
The responses from Ken Murphy (Tesco), Keith Anderson (Scottish Power) and Ashley Tabor-King (Global) will be telling. Will they lean on Mitchell, Cancer Research UK, and Race for Life to do the right thing? Or will they open up questions about the morals, ethics and values of their own brands by staying silent?
To date, the silence from Cancer Research UK has been deafening. Will the corporate supporters of the Race for Life do the right thing or allow the silence to continue?
In the Race 4 Truth, Cancer Research UK are lagging behind.
*The full transcript of Jim Cowan’s open letter to the bosses of Tesco, Scottish Power and Heart:
On 17th May I emailed you with regard an open letter I had sent to Michelle Mitchell, the Chief Executive of Cancer Research UK, on 10th May. A copy of that letter was attached to my email.
The letter concerned Cancer Research UK’s claim that they had held an inquiry into the origins of the Race for Life, an inquiry which concluded, “the origins of the Race for Life are not clear.”
I had written to Ms Mitchell in the hope that she would open the findings of this inquiry to public scrutiny. As the person who created the Race for Life, and I can provide evidence to support this fact. I can also provide witnesses including one who was employed by Imperial Cancer Research Fund (Cancer Research UK’s predecessor) at the time. Despite being aware of this, the inquiry staged by Cancer Research UK did not speak to me or the witnesses.
There is a history of over 25 years of Cancer Research UK and, before them, the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, burying the truth. Indeed, as I discovered years later, it was an Imperial Cancer Research Fund employee who originally stole the idea from me and went on to fraudulently claim it as her own. Cancer Research UK have never addressed this matter.
The truth does not waver, it does not change its story. It has no need to, it is the truth.
Since creating the Race for Life in 1993 and launching it in 1994 my story has not wavered. It has had no need to; it is the truth.
Conversely, Cancer Research UK have peddled a number of different stories. Possibly, at the time, they believed each one to be true. And yet, their story has kept changing, citing a number of different origins until now, without even considering all of the available evidence, they claim the event’s origins are not clear.
I suggest to you that they know this not to be true, that they are deliberately erasing me from the history of the event. What their reason may be, I do not know. Possibly to avoid having to admit they have had it wrong for so many years? Possibly to cover up their employees lies? The reason is not important, what is important is that they are doing it.
In the past they have stated that they have no documents from the creation of the event. I do have documents. I also have witnesses. What kind of inquiry does not seek to speak to key witnesses before coming to a conclusion? Might I suggest, the kind of inquiry which has no interest in the truth?
I therefore write to you to ask you to use your influence with Cancer Research UK, as one of the partners to the Race for Life, to ask that they open up their so-called inquiry to public scrutiny, to ultimately recognise me as the person who created the Race for Life.
I am asking you to consider what asking Cancer Research UK to open their inquiry to public scrutiny would say about your corporate and brand values? And, I would ask you to consider what not doing so would infer about those same values?
You could play a part in righting this wrong of over a quarter of a century. Or you could turn a blind eye and let it continue.
There are many reasons to open this inquiry to public scrutiny, none of them bad. I can only think of one reason not to, and that is to keep the truth buried.
I hope I can put faith in your values to do the right thing.
For anyone who has been following the Race 4 Truth, it will not come as news that Cancer Research UK has buried its head in the sand when it comes to acknowledging the truth about the origins of the Race for Life.
Despite all of the evidence proving that Jim Cowan created the event, they prefer silence. They prefer a public display of low integrity over doing the right thing and admitting they got it wrong, over admitting they were duped by the lies of Jill MacRae, a former employee.
Race 4 Truth recently tweeted a photograph of MacRae with the text; “The face of a fraudster. Read how Cancer Research UK employee Jill MacRae repeated her fraudulent claim of creating the Race for Life in an interview with the website Informed Edinburgh.” The tweet included a link to the article (which can be read here).
Surprisingly, and somewhat bizarrely, the Race for Life decided to like our tweet.
We can only wonder at what it was they liked?
Possibly they liked the tweet in recognition of their former employees dishonesty and subsequent lies? Possibly they liked the suggestion that MacRae’s false claim is fraudulent given she undoubtedly used it on her CV to gain paid employment? Possibly they actually like the way they have treated Jim Cowan as a consequence of MacRae’s lies and their own refusal to recognise the facts?
We won’t be holding our breath waiting for an answer. Cancer Research UK have already demonstrated that their sole tactic on addressing the truth about the Race for Life is to stay silent, head buried in the sand, hoping the facts will go away and leave them alone. And it doesn’t take a genius to work out why that is; because anything they could say will only incriminate them further, will only further expose the lies.
In the Race 4 Truth, Cancer Research UK are lagging behind!
Join us in our #TheSilenceIsDeafening social media campaign and help get Race for Life creator Jim Cowan the recognition and justice he deserves.
On 10th May Race for Life creator, Jim Cowan, wrote an open letter to Cancer Research UK’s Chief Executive, Michelle Mitchell, as well as to every single member of CRUK’s Board of Trustees.
The purpose of his letter was a simple one, that CRUK should make their claimed inquiry into the origins of the Race for Life public. After all, if the inquiry was genuine, if it looked at all of the available facts, what have they got to hide?
One month later, the silence from Cancer Research UK has been both deafening and telling.
Jim’s letter has received neither acknowledgement nor reply which suggests heavily that CRUK do fear public scrutiny of their so-called inquiry.
Regular visitors to Race 4 Truth will know why. It is because the evidence is overpowering, it leaves no doubt at all that the creator of the Race for Life is Jim Cowan.
And Jim had gone further even than the evidence shared on this site by offering to put CRUK in contact with witnesses who could testify to the actual events of 1993 and 1994 when Jim had the original idea for the Race for Life and went on to launch it.
Cancer Research UK have previously admitted that they have no documents from that period. Jim does but is being ignored. The silence is deafening.
The questions need to be asked; what evidence exactly did CRUK examine in their so-called inquiry? What did they deliberately ignore? And, why the fear of making it public? Of course, we know the answer to that second question.
Now, Race 4 Truth have begun a campaign, using the hashtag #TheSilenceIsDeafening. The idea behind the campaign is simple; we have been, and will continue to, Tweet and use other social media to contact the media, celebrities, charity organisations, and others to ask the questions; Why won’t CRUK reply? What have they got to hide?
And we will continue the campaign into the future by sharing articles and evidence from our articles page with those key players, all using #TheSilenceIsDeafening.
We will continue to do so until CRUK admit to their 25+ year cover up of the origins of the event and formally recognise Jim for his incredible creation, first dreamed up as a tribute to his father who was sadly taken by cancer in 1993.
Why not join us? Using #TheSilenceIsDeafening hashtag use your own social media to ask the questions of the media, journalists, CRUK supporting celebrities, and others: What have Cancer Research UK got to hide? And why won’t they reply to Jim’s open letter?
Jim Cowan, the man who created the Race for Life, has written an open letter to Cancer Research UK’s CEO, Michelle Mitchell.
The letter is in response to the charity’s claims that it has run an inquiry into the origins of the Race for Life and the finding that, “the origins of the Race for Life are not clear.”
Race 4 Truth has previously shared articles on the inquiry highlighting its flaws, which included not even bothering to talk to witnesses, one of whom was working at (what was then called) the Imperial Cancer Research Fund at the time, and of ignoring documents on their own letterhead which confirm Jim as the event’s creator.
We share Jim’s letter here in the hope that, at last, justice will be done and he will receive the recognition he so rightly deserves, albeit a quarter of a century late.
After over a quarter of a century of false claims, lies, hypocrisy, and covering for fraud, Cancer Research UK (CRUK) are now peddling a ridiculous new claim in order to prevent giving Jim Cowan the recognition due for creating the Race for Life.
In an email CRUK’s Director of Fundraising, Simon Ledsham, has made the claim that they had, “explored all reasonable lines of enquiry” and had been “unable to find any solid evidence which supports his Jim Cowan’s claim to be the sole originator of Race for Life.” The claim was repeated a couple of weeks later by CRUK’s Senior Press Officer Thea MacLeod-Hall in another email.
It is a ridiculous claim.
CRUK have previously stated that they have no documentation from the early years of the Race for Life. It is therefore unclear how their investigation was carried out or who was included.
If an internal enquiry, then it was flawed by having no documentation to refer to, and by excluding those, such as Jim, who could provide valuable evidence.
If an enquiry that included external parties, why was Jim not included? After all, they are aware that he does have copies of original documentation, including his own proposal letter and correspondence from their own staff. In addition, they are also aware that Jim could put them in touch with a number of witnesses who could verify the origins of the event. They should also be aware that Jim had even offered to sit down with Michelle Mitchell, CRUK’s CEO, with this evidence as recently as 2017; an offer which was ignored.
Therefore, the only conclusion possible is that their ‘enquiry’ had no intention of uncovering the truth. Their investigation was merely a smoke screen designed to give the impression of having tried to establish the facts while keeping heads firmly stuck in the sand and deliberately missing an opportunity to correct over 25 years of lies. And a crude tool with which to deliberately mislead anyone making enquires.
In the Race 4 Truth, Cancer Research UK are lagging behind.
We have exposed the lack of transparency Cancer Research UK has when it comes to where your donations go on numerous occasions. We have exposed the creative exclusion of certain income streams which give the impression that a higher percentage of funds raised support research than actually do. We exposed possible fraud, misinformation, hypocrisy, and more. Now, we turn our attention to how much of the money the public give to CRUK funds not research, but fat cat salaries. You may be surprised.
The Chief Executive’s salary alone (£240,000 + benefits) requires 18,000 people supporting CRUK’s “donate just £2 a month appeal” for twelve months each after ‘on-costs’ are applied.
Using that same calculation, how many people donating “just £2 per month” does it take to pay CRUK’s top earners?
Starting at the very top, CRUK’s top five earners receive over £1 million between them each year. Yes, you read that correctly. Over £1 million.
According to the 10 Percent Campaign, a further 219 CRUK employees earn over £60,000 per annum. This is up from 160 in 2013 and second only to Save The Children, and three times more than the next highest.
Let’s be kind to CRUK and assume that those 219 earn £60,000 and not, as is likely, more, meaning our calculation will be on the low side. That is still a whopping £13,140,000 every year, without on costs.
Let’s add the top five earners £1 million and then calculate on costs to understand how much CRUK needs to raise just to fund these positions BEFORE it funds any other jobs, offices, marketing……..oh yes, and research.
The figure is a mind boggling £24,745,000. Yes, you read that correctly, nearly £25 million, and remember our calculation is on the LOW side. Paying that amount would require over 1 million people to donate “just £2 a month’ for the full year. One million. Just to pay their top salary earners.
And these 224 employees make up less than 6% of CRUK’s total workforce of 3964. Again, yes, you read that correctly. Nearly 4000 people need paying, 224 at mind boggling rates, before a single penny funds the research you thought you were supporting.
And then, the cost of making that “just £2 a month” commercial, CRK’s other slick marketing, office costs, a legal team the size of which would make many corporates blush, and more, and more, also come before any research is funded.
When you donate your hard earned money, it is worth considering what you are supporting. Is it research into cancer or a large, slick machine, which misleads, misrepresents, and which acts both hypocritically and unethically, lying about the origins of its own largest fundraising event (the Race for Life).
In the Race 4 Truth, Cancer Research UK are lagging behind.