Charity folds as boss criticises Government

Kids Company founder Camila Batmanghelidjh
Kids Company founder Camila Batmanghelidjh
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Camila Batmanghelidjh has blamed “rumour-mongering civil servants” and “ill-spirited ministers” for forcing the Kids Company charity to close and “abandon a lot of children”.

In an emotional interview, Ms Batmanghelidjh blasted the Government for forcing the demise of the charity which she founded 19 years ago.

Kids Company formally closed its doors at 7pm last night, Ms Batmanghelidjh has confirmed in a BBC Radio interview.

She said: “That’s it, it’s the end of Kids Company and actually a bunch of rumour-mongering civil servants, ill-spirited ministers and the media, on the back of a range of rumours, put the nail in this organisation and shut it.”

The charity is closing despite recently receiving a £3m grant from the Government.

The organisation works with 36,000 children and young people, and officials, charities and councils have been in discussions preparing for the impact the closure could have.

The youth organisation has been hit by allegations of bad financial management, prompting its high profile founder to quit as chief executive.

Ministers agreed to give the extra cash to help restructure the charity despite official objections from a Whitehall mandarin who warned they did not think it would offer “value for money”.

Cabinet Office permanent secretary Richard Heaton told ministers: “The experience that this department has of the charity’s management and capacity gives me limited confidence that Kids Company will successfully implement the changes they describe in their new restructuring plans while meeting the stringent conditions set out in the proposed new grant.”

A spokesman for Lambeth Council said: “We are aware of the concerns over the future of Kids Company and its work in Lambeth, and our priority is looking after the children and young people who rely on its services.”

A lunchtime club and adventure playground run by the charity will be re-opened as soon as possible, the council said.