Five years have passed since Kids Company closed down and only today will Alan Yentob, the ex-BBC executive and the extraordinary Camilla Batmanghelidjh – who spent some £50 million of taxpayers money unaccountably and in an uncontrolled manner – face justice. Cash was given to kids who spent it as kids are wont to do.
Inquiries have previously found the charity gave brown envelopes stuffed with cash to troubled children as a matter of course, splurges included £50,000 allegedly spent on taxis at the charity’s Christmas party, and Batmanghelidjh had the use of a driver. Twelve-year-olds were given £150 trainers, while others were flown first class to America. One of the kids helped by the organisation told how she and her friends would splash the spending money they were given on cannabis.
Telling BBC Radio 4’s The Report: “We would queue up and sign our names down and get an envelope with £30 and an Oyster travelcard. Then we would go to the shop and buy whatever we wanted with that money. It was weed heaven on a Friday, you could smell it coming down from the landings.” Batmanghelidjh shamed David Cameron into giving her another £3 million days before the charity’s financial collapse…
This insolvency hearing could uncover criminal fraud or result in the the official receiver banning the eight defendants facing trial from being company directors. Arrogant Yentob still works for the BBC…
Yentob’s statement in full:
“The BBC is going through particularly challenging times and I have come to believe that the speculation about Kids Company and the media coverage revolving around my role is proving a serious distraction.
“So I have spoken to Tony Hall and told him that I think it best that I step down from my senior management role as Creative Director at the end of this year and focus on programme making and TV production – including of course the Imagine Series. I will also continue supporting Christine Langan and her team as Chairman of BBC Films.
“I love the BBC and will continue to do everything I can to ensure that it thrives and fulfills the great expectations we all have of it.”
Readers will remember the furore caused when the BBC’s beleaguered creative director Alan Yentob stood in the Today Programme cubicle while they interviewed Camila Batmanghelidjh. At the time Yentob was blasted by his own BBC colleagues for pressurising Today staff.
Today Yentob admitted for the first time that he did stand in the cubicle. He says “if it was intimidating I regret it”. The best television Yentob has done in years…
On Wednesday the BBC’s spin arm briefed Media Guardian that its creative director Alan Yentob had not tried to influence Newsnight’s investigation into scandal-hit Kids Company, of which he is chairman. Yet on Channel 4 News last night, Yentob admitted he did phone Newsnight staff before the programme aired. He still insists “I don’t think I’ve abused my position in any way”.
In a bizarre interview, a heated Yentob said of sexual abuse allegations at Kids Company: “I don’t believe them for one minute”. He then weirdly demanded Matt Frei congratulate him for his role in running a charity which has now collapsed in disgrace:
“Why don’t you say to me, congratulations Alan?”
Judging by this tweet from the Mail’s media editor…
What a bizarre finish to the day. Alan Yentob just dialled me accidentally, when he really didn't want to (he said). Totally W1A.
— Katherine Rushton (@kerushton) August 6, 2015
… it must have been a very long day…
£330,000-a-year BBC bore Alan Yentob has been caught allegedly trying to block Beeb journalists from invesitgating Kids Company, the scandal-hit charity of which he is chairman. Yentob apparently “telephoned Newsnight staff hours before it aired” and tried to “influence the direction” of the story. A pretty massive conflict of interest, exposed in this denial Yentob issued about the original Kids Company allegations:
“Let me be clear. There was no financial mismanagement. Our books have been audited and we passed every audit with no concerns raised. What we have is a shortage of funds, which arises because children self-refer and our policy has been that no child should be turned away. You could say it’s an unsustainable policy, but it’s been sustainable for 18 years. There is no doubt in my mind that Camila has been unfairly vilified. The gossip and innuendo that she has had to deal with have been horrendous.”
On top of the alleged financial impropriety, police are investigating darker claims of sexual abuse by Kids Company staff members being covered up. Tory backbenchers are already calling for Yentob’s head…