Comic Relief is to conduct a "full review" of its investment policy after criticisms were levelled at its dealings with the tobacco and arms industries. A BBC Panorama programme highlighted the money that the charity has tied up in some areas which appear to run counter to its aims because it does not exercise any sort of ethical screening on its investments. But chief executive Kevin Cahill said that it will look again at where it puts its funds in order to do "the right thing". BBC1's documentary claims Comic Relief could have generated more cash from shrewd investments in "ethical" funds. The charity, which generates huge publicity for its activities with star-studded programmes screened by the BBC , has avoided a policy of ethical screening for its investments because it says it does not want to limit the amount of money it raises. The documentary highlights that Comic Relief had pound(s)630,000 in shares in BAE Systems , a leading weapons manufacturer, in 2009 despite having a mission statement to help "people affected by conflict". The charity has also given money to help the fight against tuberculosis but had pound(s)3 million wrapped up in tobacco companies in the same year And although it aims to reduce alcohol misuse, the charity had pound(s)300,000 invested in the drinks industry in 2009.Panorama said Comic Relief refused to reveal its current investments. Mr Cahill , accepted that Comic Relief had a "small percentage" of cash in tobacco and arms firms through managed funds. "There's no more than 5% of our funds in those particular areas," he said. Mr Cahill said the charity had "never had a blemish" during its existence but will "do a full review" of its investment policy.
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