Former directors and founder of Kids Company face long bans

The Insolvency Service has announced proceedings against eight former directors of the now defunct charity, and against the former chief executive, Camila Batmanghelidjh

Kids Company: went under
Kids Company: went under

The former directors and founder of the collapsed charity Kids Company are facing directorship bans of up to six years, it has been announced.

The Insolvency Service said today that after completing its investigation it was bringing proceedings against the eight former directors of the charity and Camila Batmanghelidjh, its founder and former chief executive.

If the proceedings are successful, the nine could receive bans from running or controlling companies for between two-and-a-half and six years, the Insolvency Service said.

The former directors include Alan Yentob, former creative director at the BBC, and Richard Handover, former chief executive of the retailer WHSmith.

Batmanghelidjh was not a director of the charity at the time of its collapse, but the Insolvency Service will allege that she acted as a de facto director and should therefore also be disqualified from running or controlling other companies, it is understood.

A spokesman for the Insolvency Service said: "We can confirm that we have written to the former directors of Kids Company informing them that the business secretary intends to bring proceedings to have them disqualified from running or controlling companies for periods of between two-and-a-half and six years.

"As this matter will now be tested in the court, it is not appropriate to comment further."

The charity’s former trustees issued a statement in April when it emerged that they might face disqualification proceedings. This said they had acted diligently and in good faith throughout their time as trustees of the charity and would defend themselves vigourously against any proceedings.

Kids Company closed abruptly in 2015 amid allegations of financial mismanagement.

A report by the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, which was published in February last year, raised concerns about the trustees’ ignoring of repeated warnings about the charity’s financial health, the suitability of its programmes and the behaviour of staff members.

It said trustees’ "negligent financial management" rendered the charity unable to survive when allegations of sexual abuse made last August caused several philanthropists to withdraw donations they had pledged.

A Metropolitan Police Service investigation found no evidence of abuse at the charity.

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