Scandal-hit charity event to close

Pc dinner

Questions raised whether good causes should accept funds raised at the event 

25th January 2018 by Robert Armour 1 Comment

Organisers behind the scandal-hit President Club say they will disband the charity.

It comes after details emerged waitresses were routinely sexually abused at the annual dinner.  

Widespread outrage followed a Financial Times undercover investigation which exposed the £1,600-a-head fundraiser for mistreating female waiting staff.

Held at London's Dorchester Hotel, 360 guests at the event were waited on by hostesses told to wear skimpy black outfits with matching underwear and high heels, many of whom were groped and propositioned by guests. 

Trustees said any remaining funds raised through the black-tie event at the Dorchester hotel would be “distributed in an efficient manner to children’s charities” before winding up the 33-year-old organisation.  

However, Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, one of the leading recipients of funds raised by the Presidents Club, and the Evelina London Children’s Hospital said that they would return donations from the group.

In addition, several organisations that had provided items for the event’s charity auction — the Presidents Club’s main fundraising vehicle — said they would no longer follow through with their donations.

The Bank of England said a charity prize of tea with governor Mark Carney had been revoked, and Tesla and BMW cancelled the sale of luxury cars auctioned on the evening.

The Charity Commission has now opened an urgent probe into the conduct at last Thursday’s dinner.

"The commission has made clear that we consider it has no place being undertaken in the name of charity, whether raising funds for good causes or not," said chief executive Helen Stephenson.

Stephenson said she was in contact with the Financial Times - which first reported the story - to submit "further evidence... to ensure we are able to look into these matters fully and robustly".

The commission's boss was responding to a letter by 42 MPs, led by Lib Dem deputy leader Jo Swinson, which demanded an investigation into whether crimes were committed and whether the charity's trustees were "fit to hold such office."

31st January 2018 by Lok Yue

I am sure the knowledge they have made a moral stand allows the trustees who gave the money back to sleep the sleep of the just. Whether their potential beneficiaries would approve of their actions is not a question which has been put. If i was a potential beneficiary and was told the funding I needed had been turned away I think i would be less than philosophical