David Cameron defends decision to give £3m to Kids Company

David Cameron has defended the decision to give a £3 million Government grant to Kids Company against the advice of civil servants, insisting it was the "right thing to do" to give the charity "one last chance".

The charity was forced to shut its doors on Wednesday after funding ran out, amid allegations of financial mismanagement, which it denies.

Kids Company workers and supporters marched to the gates of Downing Street on Friday protesting the closure of the charity.

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Kids Company received public funds despite 'concerns'

In the 19 years Kids Company has been running, it has received £37 million in public money.

In 2012, the Department for Education raised serious concerns about the charity's finances. But it continued to receive funds, including a £3 million grant last week, just before the charity's closure.

David Cameron said ministers overruled civil servants advice to withhold funding to approve the grant to give the charity a "second chance".

But the charity's founder, Camila Batmanghelidjh said she believed the government didn't want the charity to go under before the election because it wouldn't look good.

She emphatically denies any wrongdoing but her charity and its links with the government are now the focus of attention.

ITV News Correspondent, Neil Connery reports:

Kids Company founder: 'I didn't ask for second chance'

Founder of Kids Company Camila Batmanghelidjh hit back at David Cameron who defended his decision today to give a £3 million government grant to the charity which closed this week.

In an interview with ITV News, Ms Batmanghelidjh said that she didn't see the money as a "second chance" for the charity and said it should be a commitment to the welfare of young people.

She said: "I didn't ask for a second chance, I asked for the rights of these children to care and safety to be honoured. Any money that is given to Kids Company is not given for the welfare of the organisation, it's given for the welfare of these children."

I think we need to get together led by Prime Minister and look at a paradigm shift in the way children are cared for and that is what should be happening instead of us getting tangled up in these silly arguments where different people can't fully tell it as it is because they mind their political careers.

– Kids Company founder, Camila Batmanghelidjh


Website diverts Kids Company youth to other services

New website set up to Credit: PA

A web page has been set up with details of other youth services following the sudden closure of Kids Company.

London Youth, a network of 400 youth organisations across the capital, have published a list of organisations that offer support to children and young people.

It follows crisis talks on Wednesday between government officials and charity groups to draw up emergency plans to signpost young people to other local services.

Blame game continues over closure of Kids Company

Supporters and staff from Kids Company marched to Downing Street in protest of the closure of the charity.

But the blame game over why the South London charity collapsed continues.

Joan Woolard, who gave £200,000 from the sale of her house to Kids Company, said that she wants the money back and said that she, and everyone who has donated, has been "cheated".

ITV News Correspondent, Neil Connery reports:

Bristol Kids Company to remain open for one month

Graffiti outside the Bristol unit of Kids Company this week after the London service closed on Wednesday Credit: PA

A drop-in centre run by Kids Company in Bristol will remain open for the next month with funding from the city council.

The Island in Silver Street was working with around 200 young people when Kids Company closed on Wednesday.

Bristol City Council announced today it has commissioned Creative Youth Network to run the service for the next four weeks, employing nine former Kids Company staff.

I'm pleased to have enabled the funding of this important service for a longer period.

Already it has meant a seamless continuation at The Island, and now there will be more time over the summer to support young people, work carefully to meet individual needs and arrange longer-term support where it is needed.

People who had lost their jobs overnight have come straight back to volunteer, showing true dedication and passion for helping young people in the city.

– Bristol Mayor, George Ferguson

Kids Company collapse is 'complicated', says founder

Kids Company founder, Camila Batmanghelidjh said that the reason behind the charity's collapse was "much more complicated than people think".

She insisted that allegations that sexual abuse complaints at the South London charity were not dealt with properly were "invalid" but said that she took responsibility for not making enough money for the charity to continue.

Criticising the government's record on child protection, she added: "Three quarters of their child protection departments that have been inspected have been declared unfit for purpose. I didn't run those, the government runs those."

Camila Batmanghelidjh was surrounded by staff and supporters as they marched to Downing Street Credit: PA

Earlier at a Downing Street protest in support of Kids Company, the crowd went into a frenzy when Ms Batmanghelidjh arrived to show her support.

Supporters dashed across the road to hug and speak to her, shouting "we love you Camilla, we love you".


Donor gave £200k from house sale to Kids Company

Joan Woolard gave £200,000 from the sale of her house to Kids Company.

She was among those who raised questions about the charity.

Speaking of its founder, Camila Batmanghelidjh, she said, "I trusted her implicitly".

  1. London

Protesting Kidsco supporters 'confused and angry'

Supporters of Kids Company said they are confused and angry about how the government have forced the charity to close.

A supporter during a protest march from Camberwell in south London to Downing Street told ITV News the charity did everything the government asked of them, and said the CEO Camila Batmanghelidjh showed "absolute commitment" to the charity, and did as much as she could to save the organisation.

  1. London

Kids Company supporters march on Downing Street

Supporters of Kids Company, the south London charity for young people that closed this week amid allegations of financial impropriety, marched from Camberwell in south London to Downing Street.

Arriving at Downing Street, the crowd shouted through the gates demanding that charity be allowed to remain open.

The protesters are calling for the charity to remain open. Credit: ITV News

PM: Government was 'right' to give £3m to Kids Company

David Cameron has defended the decision to give a £3 million Government grant to Kids Company against the advice of civil servants, insisting it was the "right thing to do" to give the charity "one last chance".

He said: "I think the Government was right to say let's have one last go at trying to keep this charity going given the excellent work it has done for so many young people."

"I'm sad that this charity that has done brilliant work with young children has come to an end," he added. "The most important thing now is that we look after the young children that Kids Company was helping."

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