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Children’s hospital charity will keep £365,000 in Presidents Club donations

It had previously said it would return previous donations, following a controversial men-only dinner at The Dorchester hotel.

A children’s hospital charity has confirmed it will keep past donations totalling more than £360,000 from the controversial Presidents Club.

Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity, the charity for Evelina London Children’s Hospital, said it would be keeping £365,000 in donations “as we cannot return these in line with our charitable objects”.

It formerly said it would return previous donations, following a men-only dinner at The Dorchester hotel on January 18, which gained notoriety following claims female hostesses had been groped.

On Thursday the charity confirmed it would not be accepting around £400,000 pledged at this year’s fundraising event.

During the controversial dinner, businessman Richard Caring, owner of London restaurants The Ivy and Scott’s, bid £400,000 to place his name on a new high dependency unit at the Evelina, the Financial Times previously reported.

Chief executive Kieron Boyle said: “Given the nature of reported activity at the Presidents Club fundraising event on 18 January 2018, we are not accepting donations from the event.

“We sought clarification from the Charity Commission on the status of historic donations. Following their more detailed guidance, and in light of the Presidents Club Charitable Trust closing, we are retaining previous donations as we cannot return these in line with our charitable objects.”

Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, which also pledged to return past funds, remains in talks with the Charity Commission.

The hospital confirmed on Monday it is in discussions with the Charity Commission and will consider its position at a trustee meeting in March.

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