Ex-Kids Company trustee 'voiced fears years ago'

A former trustee of Kids Company has claimed he warned bosses of concerns over the "professional management" of the charity nearly a decade ago.

Nigel Rowe, who resigned from the board of trustees in 2006, added he felt then that the charity was not in a position to expand beyond London.

Kids Company, founded by Camila Batmanghelidjh, dramatically folded amid claims of poor financial management and allegations of sexual abuse.

Both Ms Batmanghelidjh and the chairman of trustees Alan Yentob have denied the claims of poor management, while the founder said the abuse claims had only been brought to her attention by police recently.

In a letter to the Daily Telegraph, Mr Rowe said: "I resigned as a trustee of Kids Company of Kids Company in 2006 because of concerns that I had about the management of the charity, which I had previously expressed to its chairman.

"I fully understood the need for an edgy brand so that children would self-refer, but I could not accept anything less than professional management behind the scenes. It was evident then that the need which Kid Company addressed existed in inner-city areas further afield than London, but sadly the organisation was in no state to contemplate expansion."

The Government was forced to draw up emergency plans to provide support for children following the sudden closure of the charity, which operated in London, Bristol and Liverpool.

Up to 36,000 vulnerable children and young people received help from Kids Company, and there are fears many could slip through the net unless immediate plans are put in place to continue services.

Mr Rowe added he got "no satisfaction" from the charity's collapse and said he hoped the Government could find a solution.

He also said David Cameron was right to give £3 million in an attempt to save the scandal-hit organisation.

"The Prime Minister was right to view Kids Company as part of the solution, and potentially even a cost-effective one. But execution is everything, and the growth of the organisation since I was part of it will have raised the stakes dramatically," he wrote.

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