The former trustees for Kids Company have said they “wholly reject” allegations that the charity’s business model was unsustainable, and have vowed to "robustly defend" court proceedings to have them banned as company directors.
In July the Official Receiver, which had been appointed to wind up the charity, wrote to the former directors to inform them that the Business Secretary intends to bring court proceedings to have them disqualified from acting as directors for periods of between two-and-a-half and six years.
The trustees’ law firm, Bates Wells Braithwaite, issued a statement which said: “The Business Secretary, on the recommendation of the Official Receiver, is seeking the disqualification as company directors of the former trustees of the charity Keeping Kids Company on the grounds that they were running an 'unsustainable business model', in particular over the period September 2013 until closure in August 2015.
“The former trustees have instructed us to report that they wholly reject this allegation and consider the decision to bring proceedings against them to be both unjust and unprecedented. They will robustly defend the proceedings.
“Keeping Kids Company was a charity which operated successfully for more than 18 years. The former trustees believe that they acted diligently and responsibly in the most difficult circumstances and by July 2015 had succeeded in delivering an entirely feasible restructuring and financial plan for the charity, which had the support of both the government and a committed group of generous benefactors.
“The successful implementation of that plan, and the survival of the charity, was made impossible only because of malicious allegations to the Metropolitan Police who, after six months of extensive enquiries, found no evidence to justify any prosecution. The former trustees are extremely proud of the outcomes the charity achieved over many years on behalf of vulnerable children and young people who were either rejected or ignored by a social care system too often in denial or in crisis.”
Proceedings will name all the company directors at the time of collapse, including its chair Alan Yentob. The other eight former trustees who will be named in proceedings are Sunetra Devi Atkinson, Erica Jane Bolton, Richard Gordonn Handover, Vincent Gerald O’Brien, Francesca Mary Robinson, Jane Tyler and Andrew Webster.
Camila Batmanghelidjh, the charity’s founder and former chief executive, will also be named.