New RSPCA boss says sorry for 'adversarial' approach

The RSPCA's incoming boss has said that politicised campaigns, adversarial leadership and misguided prosecutions by the charity in recent years were a mistake.

Jeremy Cooper said that his arrival indicates a new direction for the charity, and says they will try to "make friends and influence people", and remain an animal welfare charity rather than promoting animal rights.

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, he said that the charity's approach in the past had hurt the charity and undermined the "fantastic" work that they do.

The charity has come under fire and endured negative publicity in the last few years, because it had the power to both investigate and prosecute in animal cruelty cases.

It became subject to a parliamentary inquiry, and an independent review of the charity suggested there needed to be more oversight and transparency in how they pursue cases.

"We have made mistakes," Mr Cooper said.

"We have to be honest about that. We have to admit that and acknowledge that. The important thing when you make mistakes is what you do about it."

"We are going to be a lot less political. It doesn't mean we won't stand up for animals. But we are not a political organisation."