Belfast Telegraph

Home News UK

Kids Company founder and trustees may face action amid Insolvency Service probe

Kids Company was founded by Camila Batmanghelidjh
Kids Company was founded by Camila Batmanghelidjh

The founder and former trustees of the collapsed charity Kids Company could be banned from holding company directorships.

The youth organisation folded amid a storm of controversy in August 2015 - just days after receiving a £3 million Government grant in a final bid to keep it afloat.

Kids Company received more than £42 million of Whitehall funding between 1996 and 2015, thanks in part to founder Camila Batmanghelidjh winning favour with former prime minister David Cameron.

The Insolvency Service is investigating the financial circumstances of the charity and is allegedly bringing disqualification proceedings against Ms Batmanghelidjh.

Former trustees of the collapsed charity, including ex-BBC creative director Alan Yentob and Richard Handover, previously a boss of WH Smith, may also face sanctions.

The trustees, who also include Sunetra Atkinson, Erica Bolton, Francesca Robinson, Jane Tyler and Andrew Webster, responded to the "unconfirmed reports" in a joint statement.

"At all times we had the interests of the children and young people in our care as our primary concern," they said.

"We freely gave significant amounts of our personal time and money to that end.

"We took professional advice on legal and financial matters.

"In order to satisfy our funders, it was necessary to undergo regular, stringent scrutiny and validation by external independent parties, including auditors.

"There is no suggestion that we acted dishonestly or in bad faith.

"As far as we are aware, there has never been a case where trustees of a charity have been disqualified by a court in circumstances such as these.

"We acted diligently throughout, and if any proceedings are brought will defend ourselves vigorously.

"What happens to us could have serious implications for the thousands of other trustees who want to do charitable work in this country."


From Belfast Telegraph