Cancer Research UK has had a new strap line for its events over the summer; “Cancer Plays Dirty, So Do We”. And it’s a case of never a truer word spoken as we have exposed their support for fraud, lies, hypocrisy and more over recent months.

Where to start? It’s not as if it is only one or two instances of Cancer Research UK “playing dirty”. No, “playing dirty” is deeply ingrained in the culture, the very fabric of the organisation.

They “play dirty” when they refuse to recognise the man who created the Race for Life. Worse, not only have they consistently refused to give him the recognition due, they have made up a whole series of tales inventing different stories for the origins for the event. Misrepresentation at best.

They “play dirty” when they mislead those considering entering the Race for Life and other events by telling them “this is beating cancer” but not telling them that not a single penny of their entry fee funds any research at all. Worse, they exclude all income from those events, from merchandise, from high street stores, from the figure they cite for percentage of income funding research. Misleading at best.

They “play dirty” when they pay themselves huge salaries, all of which need to be paid before a single penny of funds raised go to research. Their top five earners being paid over £1 million between them and 219 earning over £60,000 a year. More corporate greed that charitable act.

They “play dirty” when they support the CV of former Head of Events Jill MacRae who falsely claimed to be the creator of the Race for Life, possibly supporting fraud given a CV is used in order to make financial gain.

They play dirty when they accept awards and recognition for themselves, when they give recognition and awards to their own yet hypocritically deny recognition to the man who created their biggest fundraising event.

They play dirty when they claim never to have heard of the man who created the Race for Life when a different charity asks about him to verify his CV thus costing him a job offer.

Yes Cancer Research UK, when you claim you ‘play dirty’ it may be the most (only?) honest claim you have made in months, if not years.

Unethical. hypocritical, dishonest, lacking transparency or integrity. Yes, Cancer Research UK definitely ‘play dirty’ – just not in the way they want you to think.

In the Race 4 Truth, Cancer Research UK are lagging behind.


  1. A j galea

    It is decusting that any charity should pay directors that amount of money a year when they could live on a lot less especially when they expect volunteers to give up their time for free and to top it off get knight hoods and other awards it needs to stop if they can earn 500000 which is halve of the average hard working person should be enough I will not donate to any charity who pay salaries to directors as much as 244’000 a year let’s face facts what exactly do the do to earn that amount every year I wonder if they donate to charities say £2000 per year? a dip in the ocean compared to what they earn

  2. Liz Playle

    As a volunteer of several years, I am getting more and more disgusted by Cancer Research for several reasons:
    Paying hard working shop managers minimum wage, when CEOs are on very high income!
    Pressure on staff to reach difficult financial targets all the time.
    Having plastic bags, at all.
    Increasing amount of new goods that are plastic and don’t sell!, eg plastic plants and outdoor rugs!
    Clean up your act, CRUK!!

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