Charity Commission's inquiry into Kids Company 'on hold'

The regulator's statutory inquiry, opened three-and-a half-years ago, is being delayed by disqualification proceedings being brought by the Insolvency Service against the defunct charity's former trustees

Kids Company
Kids Company

The Charity Commission's inquiry into the defunct charity Kids Company remains on hold almost three and a half years after it began while legal proceedings by the Insolvency Service are concluded.

The charity closed in August 2015, citing a lack of funding after the withdrawal of government support for the organisation. The commission swiftly announced it had opened a statutory inquiry.

In July 2017 the Insolvency Service announced it was bringing disqualification proceedings against the charity's eight former directors and Camila Batmanghelidjh, its founder and former chief executive.

If the proceedings are successful, the directors could face bans from running or controlling companies for between two-and-a-half and six years.

A statement made at the time by the directors said they would "robustly defend" themselves against the proceedings.

The action by the Insolvency Service has meant the Charity Commission has had to put its inquiry on hold while the disqualification proceedings play out.

A spokeswoman for the Charity Commission said the regulator was conscious that the outcome and results of its inquiry into Kids Company were awaited.

"We recognise the high public interest in this case and we have been and remain committed to progressing matters thoroughly but as swiftly as possible, without compromising due process and the outcome," she said.

"We have always made clear that the work of the Insolvency Service/Official Receiver takes precedence over the commission’s inquiry, and that our inquiry would take into account their findings.

"The inquiry is therefore currently on hold pending the progress of those legal proceedings.

"As soon as we are able to, without prejudicing any proceedings or outcome, we will provide an update on our investigative work."

A spokesman for the Insolvency Service told Third Sector the case was proceeding as normal and that it was waiting for a hearing date to be agreed.

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