Presidents Club to shut down after shocking report details rampant sexual harassment

Remaining funds will be distributed to children’s charities

Tom Batchelor
Wednesday 24 January 2018 18:12
'I was groped': Journalist Madison Marriage talks about hostessing at the Presidents Club Charity Dinner

The Presidents Club Charitable Trust has said it will disband in the wake of sexual harassment allegations following an exclusive dinner it hosted last week.

Trustees of the club said the remaining funds would be distributed to children’s charities and no future fundraising events would be arranged.

In a statement, the Presidents Club said: "The trustees have decided that the Presidents Club will not host any further fundraising events. Remaining funds will be distributed in an efficient manner to children's charities and it will then be closed.''

The Independent has approached the trust for comment.

Alleged groping and harassment of hostesses were exposed after an undercover reporter for the Financial Times attended the men-only gala at the Dorchester Hotel.

Leading figures in business, politics and finance attended the event hosted by comedian and children's author David Walliams, who is not the subject of any allegations.

The report triggered resignations including businessman David Meller, a trustee and co-chairman of the annual dinner, who quit his role at the Mayor's Fund for London and the Department for Education.

David Mellor steps down from Department of Education following Presidents Club scandal

It comes as three charities said they were returning donations from the trust in the wake of the allegations.

London's Royal Academy of Music said it will refund a £10,000 donation made in 2017 as a scholarship to a violin student.

Undercover footage recorded by an FT reporter showed hostesses mingling among high-paying male guests

A spokeswoman for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity described reports about the event as shocking and said: "We would never knowingly accept donations raised in this way.

"Due to the wholly unacceptable nature of the event we are returning previous donations and will no longer accept gifts from the Presidents Club Charitable Trust."

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