This was quoted over on UK Justice:
It is from an analysis carried out by an Irish woman who posted on the Haverns board and whose name escapes me.A Freedom of Information (FOI) request to the Charity Commission revealed several emails, telephone calls and a telephone conference between BWB and the Charity Commission about the possibility of charity status, for the then unincorporated company, between Monday afternoon May 14 and Tuesday May 15.
BWB emailed Alice Holt, Head of Legal Services (Status and Advice) at 9.39 pm on Monday evening with draft documents for the company as a charity. The email stated there was to be a press launch of the Foundation on Wednesday May 16 and that they awaited instructions on how the founders proposed to operate.
The minutes of the telephone conference held between BWB and the Charity Commission on the morning of Tuesday May 15 record that Alice Holt would look at revising the draft document to a form more acceptable to the Commission. The minutes also record that Commission official Kenneth Dibble was concerned that the press conference set for the next day might send out confused messages to the public unless it was settled what the fund could and could not be used for.
At 1.10 pm on May 15 the Charity Commission received an email from BWB saying their clients were likely to go the ordinary company route rather than pursue charity status. When that email was received Ms Holt was just finalising her promised revisions to the documents submitted to her the previous day. She sent her revised document anyway at 1.28 pm. To meet the Fund launch date of May 16, the McCanns had obviously decided to abandon the apparently hopeful charity negotiations in order to meet the deadline for same day company incorporation. Documents must be filed by 3pm for the company to be incorporated on that day.
The fact is that the McCanns' hands were tied in going down the 'company' route by the rules of the Charity Commission, which will not allow any concern which has a remit of just one person to be set up as a charity.
So the McCanns had two choices, dictated by Charity Commission rules: (if indeed they wanted Find Madeleine to be a charity): extend the remit to more than just one person (Madeleine); OR keep the remit to just one person and set up as a private business.
The McCanns chose the latter option.
https://www.gov.uk/government/publicati ... cc4#part-4
The ‘public aspect’
The ‘public aspect’ of public benefit is about who the purpose benefits.
Legal requirement: to satisfy the ‘public aspect’ of public benefit the purpose must:
benefit the public in general, or a sufficient section of the public
not give rise to more than incidental personal benefit