Matthew Hancock jointly authorised £3m grant to doomed youth charity

Matthew Hancock  PPP-141117-174623001

Matthew Hancock PPP-141117-174623001

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It has been revealed West Suffolk MP Matthew Hancock was instrumental in ensuring a children’s charity be given a £3m grant just days before it announced its closure.

The decision to make the grant to Kids Company was made by Mr Hancock and fellow cabinet office minister Oliver Letwin.

Kids Company chief executive Camila Batmanghelidjh Photo: Ian West/PA Wire EMN-150508-163236001

Kids Company chief executive Camila Batmanghelidjh Photo: Ian West/PA Wire EMN-150508-163236001

Civil servants had raised concerns about the viability of the charity and the value for money in handing over the funding, but a letter signed by the two ministers directed officials to make the payment.

Emails leaked to the BBC suggest some of the £3m was used to pay the charity’s staff, for which the money was not intended, before it announced that it would close operations this evening.

Kids Company supported vulnerable young people in London, Liverpool and Bristol for 19 years. The £3m grant was made on condition its flamboyant chief executive Camila Batmanghelidjh stood down as part of a reorganisation.

The cabinet office where Mr Hancock works is not commenting. The Bury Free Press asked Mr Hancock’s parliamentary office for a statement this morning.