Kids Company told Cabinet Office its closure could provoke rioting and arson attacks

The warning came in a document emailed to ministry officials while negotiations about further funding were ongoing; it also remains unclear how many young people the charity actually supported

Ministry: was sent an email in name of Alan Yentob
Ministry: was sent an email in name of Alan Yentob

Kids Company warned the government that its closure could provoke "rioting" and "arson attacks on government buildings", it has emerged, while there are questions over its claim to have supported 16,000 young people.

According to the BBC and the news website Buzzfeed, the warning was contained in a document that was emailed to Cabinet Office officials in the name of Alan Yentob, chair of Kids Company and creative director at the BBC, on 2 June.

This occurred amid discussions about the government granting the charity £3m to help it address an increasingly difficult financial situation.

Civil servants told the BBC the language of the document, which also warned that communities served by Kids Company could "descend into savagery", was "absurd" and "hysterical".

Yentob told the BBC the document was an appendix written by the charity’s safeguarding team, which "set out all the potential risks to be taken into account in the event of closure".

Just days before the charity announced its closure, Cabinet Office ministers awarded a £3m grant to the charity despite warnings from leading officials that it was unlikely to meet government conditions for the money.

Yentob was criticised by another charity chair, Richard Taylor of the Damilola Taylor Trust, which lists Kids Company as a partner on its website.

Taylor, who is the father of Damilola, told the Daily Mail: "I think it sounds like Alan Yentob used these words to threaten the government and hold it to ransom."

A spokesman for the Cabinet Office declined to comment on the document other than to confirm that it had been received.

Since the charity closed, central and local government officials have been taken aback by the difficulty of establishing how much work the charity actually did, according to the BBC and Buzzfeed.

The charity has claimed its records showed it supported 15,933 young people, but it has handed over records to local government relating to 1,682 clients in London and 175 in Bristol.

Some records of clients who are at risk of deportation have been kept back, Camila Batmanghelidjh, founder of Kids Company, told The Sunday Times.

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus