Charities return donations after controversial Presidents Club dinner

A number of charities have announced they will be returning funds donated to them from the Presidents Club trust.

A spokeswoman for the STV Children's Appeal said: "The trustees of the STV Children's Appeal have taken the decision to return all previous donations received from the Presidents Club following news reports on the organisation's latest fundraising event."

University College London Hospitals Charity said it would be returning a one-off £5,000 donation from the charity it received in 2015.

London's Royal Academy of Music said it will refund a £10,000 donation made in 2017 as a scholarship to a violin student.

A spokeswoman described the allegations as "deeply disturbing" and said: "In light of today's allegations, we will be returning the £10,000 donation and will not be accepting any future donations from the Presidents Club.

"The student will not be affected by this course of action. We would never knowingly associate with an organisation which condones the type of behaviour we have learned about today."

A spokeswoman for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity described reports about the event as shocking and said: "We would never knowingly accept donations raised in this way.

"Due to the wholly unacceptable nature of the event, we are returning previous donations and will no longer accept gifts from the Presidents Club Charitable Trust."

During the dinner, businessman Richard Caring, owner of London restaurants The Ivy and Scott's, bid £400,000 to place his name on a new high dependency unit at the Evelina, the Financial Times reported.

A spokeswoman for the hospital said: "We are very alarmed by the allegations about the behaviour of some of those attending the Presidents Club fundraising dinner.

"This is not the kind of event we would wish to be associated with and we will therefore be declining funding from it and returning all previous donations from the Presidents Club."

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