Commission probe of Catz Club began a year ago

The childcare charity that unlawfully donated £7,500 to the Labour Party has been the subject of a Charity Commission investigation for the past year.

The regulator said concerns had been raised about governance issues at Catz Club, which trades as Schoolfriendetc, in September 2007.

A commission statement said the concerns related to "internal financial controls and overdue accounts".

The commission said it had not yet opened a formal inquiry and stressed that the investigations were not linked to political donations.

The charity's most recently submitted accounts, for the year ending September 2006, showed income of £850,000 and expenditure of £4.25m. It had debts of £3.5m to trade creditors and loans totalling more than £3m from chair Anthony Mitchell and Futurebuilders.

Last week, shadow charities minister Greg Clark questioned the judgement of the trustees, who were forced to take back a £7,500 Labour donation.

Catz Club declined to comment.

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