Charities have not yet returned Presidents Club donations

07 Feb 2018 News

Charities which said they would return donations to the Presidents Club have not yet done so, the Charity Commission has confirmed.

Only one charity has so far asked formal permission to do so, the regulator said, although several charities have been in contact with the regulator to discuss the process.

Several charities said they would return money to the Presidents Club, which hosted an annual all-male charity dinner, after it was revealed to have involved sexual harassment of hostesses.

But returning donations which have already been accepted is a more complex legal process than refusing money in the first place, requiring Charity Commission permission, and only one charity has made an official application to do so, although others are expected to do so.

Charities saying they would give the money back include Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, Evelina London Children’s Hospital at Guy’s and St Thomas’, the Royal Academy of Music and the Clatterbridge Cancer Charity.

The Royal Academy of Music has told the Financial Times that it has sought formal permission to return the money but has not yet done so.

A spokesperson from Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity said: "‘We have written to the Charity Commission about our proposed course of action and are currently in dialogue with them about our next steps."

The situation is complicated because the Presidents Club has announced its closure, and it is not clear that it is under any obligation to take the money back.

Any money that was handed back to the Presidents Club, and all other assets it holds, must be transferred to other charities before it can be closed down.

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