Our thanks to John for this. Excerpts:
Britain’s only national charity for LGBT victims of domestic abuse collapsed amid allegations of serious financial mismanagement and a failure of oversight by both its trustees and its biggest backer, the Home Office… [the department led for the past six years by our new prime minister, Theresa May]
During interviews and in correspondence seen by BuzzFeed News, four Broken Rainbows employees separately made the same comparison between the charity’s demise and the collapse of Kids Company. The Charity Commission told BuzzFeed News that following complaints made to it against Broken Rainbow the commission has opened a case to examine “what regulatory action might be required”…
For the whistleblower, whom we will call Paul, there was one moment that crystallised his problem with the financial management of Broken Rainbow. When the charity’s CEO, Jo Harvey Barringer, got married last year, the then chair of the board, Andrew Grant, sent her and her new wife a bouquet of flowers, costing £54.99, with a box of champagne truffles at £9.99 – and put them through on expenses. With delivery charges, the gifts came to £74.97. The expense claim for the gift was then approved by its recipient. On his LinkedIn profile, Grant describes himself as a “commercially astute leader”.
But this represents a tiny fraction of the charity’s use of funds. Accounts seen by BuzzFeed News show that in 2015, while frequently leaving insufficient money in its bank account to pay staff redundancies in the event of its collapse, Broken Rainbow spent £23,446 (its entire income for 2015 was £177,565) on travel expenses, much of which was for the CEO.
“As a proportion of what they need in order to run that’s a huge amount,” said Paul. “That’s the [running costs of] the helpline for six months.” It also represents more than a quarter of the £90,000 the Home Office gave the charity last year to run the helpline. The Home Office was Broken Rainbow’s largest funder.