It’s been 15 months since the forced closure of Kids’ Company.
It is well known, among other things, that the dodgy charity squandered vast sums of public money; that it avoided paying hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxes; that it exaggerated the number of people who used it services; and that it employed the children of at least one of its trustees.
But one of the enduring mysteries relating to this bizarre outfit is: what happened to the £3 million of taxpayers’ money it was given by the government just before it was wound up?
The short answer is, nobody seems to know.
A BBC documentary earlier this year briefly examined this matter. Apparently some of the cash – as much as £700,000 – may have met a staff wages bill. If it did, this would have been an improper use of the funds.
But what of the rest?
Watch this 60 seconds of footage from the BBC film to see the attitude of the charity’s chief, Camila Batmanghelidjh, regarding this matter. She calls the government “bastards” for having the temerity to ask for the money back:
Oliver Letwin MP – the Cabinet Office minister ultimately responsible for handing over the sum – is in denial over the issue.
Letwin was the minister who in 2015 overruled a civil servant and said Batmanghelidjh’s charity was entitled to this money.
The civil servant had warned Letwin this was a terrible idea.
When Heat Street contacted Letwin asking where the money had gone, he refused to answer questions.
Letwin was rewarded with a knighthood in David Cameron’s resignation honours list, by the way. Is it just a coincidence that Cameron was a blindly fanatical supporter of Kids’ Company – as was his wife, Samantha?
The findings of a Charity Commission inquiry into the Kids’ Company scandal are expected to be published in the next few weeks. But a source has revealed this report won’t go into the mystery of the missing £3 million.
That only leaves the official receiver. It looks like the only body which can officially find out where the money has gone, but an Insolvency Service spokesman refused to comment on its ongoing investigations.
At the same time, Camila Batmanghelidjh has recently put on hold her plans to publish a book telling her side of the story about the work of Kids’ Company.
She was supposed to have released the book, titled ‘Kids’, last month. It is now unclear exactly when it will see the light of day.
The public would be far more interested in learning where the £3 million has gone than in reading a book attempting to justify one of the biggest UK charity scandals yet uncovered, wouldn’t they?