Leading band in talks to take over Kids Co - amid new allegations of financial mismanagement
Rock band Coldplay are considering taking over one part of Kids Company – the children’s charity currently undergoing a Charity Commission investigation into inappropriate spending.
Members of the band are looking into the feasibility of keeping the Treehouse project running, a venture which offers education and therapeutic help to vulnerable children.
The band has been a regular contributor to the charity’s funds, granting it millions over the last few years, and has been regular fundraisers alongside lead singer Chris Martin’s former wife Gwyneth Paltrow.
Phil Harvey, Coldplay’s co-manager, said: “We’re incredibly proud of Treehouse’s work with children in great need over the past six years. It’s very early stages, but we’re not going to give up on the centre without looking at all options for the future.”
We’re incredibly proud of Treehouse’s work with children in great need over the past six years - Phil Harvey
It comes as newspaper reports said the Charity Commission was investigating claims into inappropriate spending at the charity, which closed its doors this week after running out of cash.
One report claims the charity’s money was used to pay the boarding school fees of chief executive Camila Batmanghelidjh’s personal chauffeur’s daughter – to the tune of £30,000 a year.
A number of former employees are thought to have made a number of claims to the Charity Commission last month suggesting public money may not have been used appropriately in some instances.
Batmanghelidjh has said she could prove to the Charity Commission that no funds had been paid by Kids Company to cover school fees - because the school covered the costs via a bursary.
The charity is also facing a separate police investigation into alleged sexual abuse on its premises.
It is alleged charity staff knew of complaints that girls aged 16 to 18 had been forced to have sex with male clients of Kids Company in their 20s.
Government ministers, councils and other charities are now in talks to draw up plans to continue services and ensure vulnerable children the charity served do not fall through the net.
However Alan Yentob, the chair of Kids Company, has said allegations of financial mismanagement at the charity are "rubbish", and that the board turned down £3m of philanthropic funding because sexual abuse allegations made it impossible to continue.
“We have got audits from government auditors saying that we were well run and well managed," he said. "Over the last year or so we have had problems raising funds and the demand has been increasing,” he said.