Penelope Keith fuming over axe from actors' charity and blasts 'we've been throttled'


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Now the veteran actress is gearing up for a real life battle after she was ousted as president of a leading actors’ charity.

Dame Penelope, 82, and fellow stars Dame Sian Phillips and James Bolam, are expected to clash with trustees of the Actors’ Benevolent Fund at an emergency meeting on Friday.

The actress, best known for The Good Life and To The Manor Born, was ABF president for 32 years until she was ousted in February along with other trustees.

Since then, a long-running row between the old and new trustees has led to accusations over the governance of the ABF whose patron is the king.

It is understood the charity has been warned it is in breach of its rules by not having a president or honorary treasurer.

Dame Penelope said: “A public argument is the last thing we wanted. It is an unnecessary distraction from the essential work the fund undertakes and a waste of charity resources. However, we have been throttled at every turn and it is essential we get this message out.”

The ABF said: “There were many cumulative reasons behind not re-electing the former post holders.

“Following the decision, the current trustees sought expert and independent legal advice from three law firms, all of whom confirmed that the trustees’ actions were in accordance with the ABF’s constitution and governance processes.

“The Charity Commission also stated that it was assured the new trustees were responding appropriately to the concerns raised.”


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