A major Tory donor has confirmed that he had lobbied the Government to provide more support for the troubled charity Kids Company in the months leading up to its collapse. James Lupton, who is the Conservatives’ co-treasurer and donated more than £1m to the party last year, said that he had attended a meeting at the Department of Education alongside the charity’s founder, Camila Batmanghelidjh, to discuss its future.
He added that he did this because he was worried about the “long-term financial sustainability of Kids Company” and wanted to “explore” whether the Government could “play a role” in creating a new structure for the organisation. However, he denied that he had been “consulted” or “played any part in the decision” to award Kids Company a £3m grant that was made by Cabinet Office ministers against the advice of civil servants.
“My wife and I, accompanied by Camila Batmanghelidjh, met once with the Department for Education in early February, 2015,” he said in a statement.
“I was neither a trustee nor had any management responsibility, but as a donor I was concerned about the long-term financial sustainability of Kids Company.
“This meeting was to explore whether it might have been possible for Government to play a role in creating a new structure for Kids Company, which combined the disciplines of the public sector with their energies and commitment.”
He added: “These discussions were not pursued and I have played no further part in the decisions of the past few weeks and days.”
Mr Lupton comments, following the revelation of his involvement in The Independent yesterday, came as David Cameron defended the Government’s decision to keep supporting the company.
“The Government thought it was the right thing to do to give this charity one last chance of restructuring to try and make sure it could continue its excellent work,” he said. “I think the Government was right to say, ‘let’s have one last go’, to try to keep this charity going.”Reuse content