Just one charity has formally asked to return Presidents Club donations

The Royal Academy of Music has asked the Charity Commission if it can return the money in the wake of the scandal

Royal Academy of Music
Royal Academy of Music

Only one charity, the Royal Academy of Music, has made a formal request to the Charity Commission to return donations from the Presidents Club charity since last month’s controversial fundraising dinner.

The academy was one of four charities that said they would return donations to the Presidents Club after a story appeared in the Financial Times claiming that young women hired as hostesses for the club’s annual men-only dinner were subjected to sexual harassment.

The Presidents Club announced it was closing down in the wake of the allegations.

A spokesman for the academy, which received £10,000 from the Presidents Club, said it made a formal request to the Charity Commission on 29 January to return the donation.

A response from the commission’s regulatory compliance team advising on the procedure for returning donations was received by the academy on 2 February, the spokesman said.

Three other charities – Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, the Clatterbridge Cancer Charity and Evelina London Children’s Hospital, which is part of Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity – have pledged to return donations to the Presidents Club but have not yet made formal requests to do so.

The Charity Commission said that only one charity had entered the formal legal process to return donations to the Presidents Club.

GOSH received £530,000 in donations from the Presidents Club, and a spokeswoman for GOSH said it was "in dialogue" with the Charity Commission about returning the donations.

Clatterbridge Cancer Charity said in the wake of the Presidents Club scandal that it would return £15,000 donated to it last year.

In a statement, the charity said its trustees would discuss handing back the donation "in due course".

Evelina London Children’s Hospital said after the allegations were made that it would return £665,000 to the charity, about £400,000 of which was raised at January’s gala dinner, with the rest donated between 1998 and 2017.

Evelina London Children’s Hospital did not respond to a request for comment before Third Sector’s deadline.

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