Police investigate 'irregularities' in Mensa expenses

New blow for feuding high-IQ body

IAN MacKINNON

Detectives have been asked to investigate alleged expenses irregularities by a long-serving director of Mensa, the organisation for those with high IQs which is beset by acrimonious internal feuding.

Police officers will next week interview the society's chief accountant after the honorary secretary at the centre of accusations, John McNulty, agreed to step down while an investigation is carried out.

A second committee member, Brian Ford, who made the allegations, has also been removed from his post as chairman of Mensa Events, an off-shoot responsible for organising fund-raising concerts and lectures, and suffered a no-confidence vote against him.

The latest twists are a further blow to Mensa, which recently staged a raid on its own Wolverhampton headquarters and sacked its executive director of 19 years, Harold Gale.

Mr Gale was accused by the Mensa committee of using the organisation's facilities to run his own highly-profitable business and is to claim unfair dismissal at an industrial tribunal next month.

The allegations against Mr McNulty relate to thousands pounds of telephone bills, computer equipment and payments for services dating back three years which have been swirling around the organisation for several months, but came to a head at a committee meeting on Sunday.

Before the meeting Mr McNulty, who was absent, circulated a two-page denial of the accusations to Mensa's eight directors, including the chairman, Sir Clive Sinclair.

Yesterday, Sir Clive explained that he had wanted the auditors to examine the alleged financial irregularities, but they had been unwilling to do so as they had discovered no discrepancies in the accounts.

Nigel Tinsley, employed as Mensa's chief finance officer, told the meeting that in the light of the seriousness of the allegations he had no choice but to report them to the police and is to meet a detective to hand over paperwork.

But Sir Clive expressed scepticism that the police would discover anything improper. "I felt that calling the police was like taking a sledgehammer to crack a nut. It wouldn't surprise me if at the end of the day they said 'what's all the fuss about'?" Mr McNulty, who denies any wrongdoing, was relaxed about the allegations yesterday. "Brian Ford is stirring up a storm in a tea cup. I have answered everything that he had raised. But he wanted an investigation, so we said 'fine'."

A director of Mensa for 12 years and honorary secretary for the past two years, Mr McNulty said the accusations were merely the inevitable "backwash" of the rumpus surrounding the dismissal of Mr Gale over the activities of his company, Harold Gale Associates, and its magazine Mind Games.

Mr Ford, declined to comment on the allegations he made save to say that Sir Clive and the rest of the committee had dragged their feet before finally being forced into action.

"I believe the continued delay is going to cause Mensa further embarrassment. I'm deeply grieved that the members are going to suffer because of their failure to act."

Mr Ford added that his removal as chairman of Mensa Events had merely relieved him of the onerous organisational burden, although it had also robbed the society of his fund-raising energies.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
News
Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Voices
Joseph Kynaston Reeves arguing with Russell Brand outside the RBS’s London offices on Friday
voicesDJ Taylor: The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a worker's rant to Russell Brand
News
Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
News
Xander van der Burgt, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
scienceA Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick