James O'Brien Takes On Caller Angry At RNLI's Foreign Donations

16 September 2019, 13:33 | Updated: 16 September 2019, 19:18

James O'Brien admitted he was baffled by this caller who was really angry about the revelation that the RNLI donated 2% of their money to overseas projects.

The Times ran a story on Saturday about how the charity spent £3.3 million on teaching children to swim in Tanzania and creches in Bangladesh. It was then picked up by other papers such as Mail Online, Mail on Sunday and The Sun.

Some people insisted they would stop supporting the charity following the report, but they hit back insisting they were proud of their overseas work.

And James admitted he had no idea why people were getting so worked up about it.

The caller Dave in Lewisham told him: "The fact that it is a Royal National Charity, people like to know where their money is going."

James pointed out that they publish their accounts every year, so anyone could see where the money was going.

Dave insisted: "If you want to give money to Water Aid or to an African charity then you will do, but if you're misled to believe that the money is going to go to a local charity or national charity."

James O'Brien discussed the controversy over RNLI donations
James O'Brien discussed the controversy over RNLI donations. Picture: PA / LBC

James asked if he'd prefer they didn't send money to Tanzania and after insisting he doesn't care - despite calling in to talk about it - he admitted: "I want them to have a separate charity [for foreign donations]."

Summing up his position, James said: "I kind of like the idea of when I donate money to the RNLI, 98% of it is spent on patrolling and securing waters into which I am likely to fall and then 2% of it spent on teaching children to swim in places around the world where they are more likely to die by drowning.

"I genuinely don't see the controversy here."

The article originally read that the Daily Mail first ran the story, however it has since been clarified The Times first published this story on September 14 2019 and the Daily Mail did not report on this.