Kids Company founder Camila Batmanghelidjh bragged about her use of “loving blackmail” and “arm twisting” to secure government funding, ITV News can reveal.
In an email sent to staff at the charity two years before it folded, she celebrated news that the organisation had just been given a £4.5 million grant.
ITV News UK Editor Rohit Kachroo reports:
In the note sent on 13th March 2013, she wrote: "This is to confirm that we have now had an email from central government to let us know that we will have funding for the next two years."
She then goes on to describe the methods she used in order to secure the cash.
There was definitely loving blackmail, arm-twisting and all manner of ghetto-strategies before we got to this point.
The now defunct charity received at least £46 million of public money despite repeated concerns about how it was run, according to a report by the National Audit Office.
The seven-week investigation sought to explore why government officials seemed unable to turn off the taps and cut funding to the charity.
A series of emails obtained by ITV News reveals how Ms Batmanghelidjh sought to get more funding and keep the charity afloat.
In 2013, weeks before the government handed Kids Company more money, Ms Batmanghelidjh wrote to staff, referring to them as “fellow ship-wrecked”.
After alerting them to her place on a list of Britain’s “100 Most Powerful list”, she shared her hopes about receiving another grant.
If we get it, it will be brilliant. If we don’t we’ll still get it because it will be a marshmallow war! I’ll let you know as soon as we get news.
More often than not, the news from Whitehall was for Kids Company, but Ms Batmanghelidjh used media interviews to argue for more.
In an ITV News London interview in September 2014, she warned of serious consequences if extra government money wasn’t made available to Kids Company.
She told Charlene White "It will mean literally thousands of children being left without the kind of care they need.”
Two days later, she emailed staff with a more positive assessment, writing: “Just to let you know that our government chess game is going really well.
"Obviously I can’t put anything in email, but I just want people to be aware that we’re on all schedule with what we need to get.”
A few months later, the Department for Education rejected Kids Company’s bid for further money.
ITV News has approached Ms Batmanghelidjh for comment.