UK’s charity watchdog opens probe into Captain Tom Foundation
The UK’s charities watchdog has launched an investigation into The Captain Tom Foundation, over concerns about potential conflicts of interest involving the late Army officer’s family.
The Charity Commission today said it had opened an inquiry into The Captain Tom Foundation over concerns about the charity’s management.
The watchdog said a company that is controlled by his daughter, Hannah Ingram-Moore, may have made “significant profit” by using the ‘Captain Tom’ trademark without objection from the charity.
“We do not take any decision to open an inquiry lightly, but in this case our concerns have mounted,” said Helen Stephenson, the Commission’s chief executive.
“We consider it in the public interest to examine them through a formal investigation, which gives us access to the full range of our protective and enforcement powers.”
Sir Tom became a household name in 2020 after he walked 100 laps in his garden, raising £33m for the NHS, before he died, aged 100 in February 2021.
Earlier this year, City A.M. reported that the watchdog was set to investigate the accounts of the charity set up to honour lockdown legend Sir Captain Tom Moore.
Accounts show that the Captain Tom Foundation gave out grants of £160,000 to four charities and paid out more than £162,000 in management costs in its first year.
The financial statement included reimbursement costs of £16,097 paid to Club Nook Limited, a company run by Hannah Ingram-Moore, Sir Tom’s daughter.
These costs were for accommodation, security and transport for Sir Tom “travelling around the UK to promote the charitable company”.
There were also payments of £37,942 that were paid to Maytrix Group Limited, a company run by Ingram-Moore and her husband, relating to photography, office rental, telephone and third-party consultancy costs.
The foundation has said that it welcomes the investigation and the government-led Charity Commission said: “We have been in ongoing contact with the trustees of the Captain Tom Foundation on its set-up and governance arrangements and as part of this work will now assess the charity’s recently submitted accounts.”
The inquiry comes after the commission previously engaged with the charity after it asked the body for permission to pay Hannah Ingram-Moore a £60,000 salary for three days a week of work.
The charity commission later engaged with the charity again, after it asked for permission to make Hannah Ingram Moore chief executive of the Captain Tom Foundation on a £100,000 a year salary.
In August 2021, the Charity Commission later granted permission for Ingram Moore to take up the role of interim CEO on a salary of £85,000 a year for up to nine months, whilst the charity recruited a new chief executive.
The commission noted that the decision to launched its investigation does not mean there has been any wrongdoing from the charity as it noted it has no concerns about the £38m sum given to the NHS Charities Together .
Stephen Jones, Chair of the Board of Trustees of The Captain Tom Foundation said the charity will “work closely with the Commission in its inquiry.”
The foundation’s new chief executive, Jack Gilbert, said the foundation plans to launch a “an array of charitable activities at both grassroots and national levels” in coming months, as he pledged his support for the commission’s inquiry.