Embattled charity Kids Company spent thousands of pounds of public money helping migrants stay in Britain, it has been revealed.
The organisation, which collapsed earlier this month following allegations of financial mismanagement, paid for passports for 184 clients to “improve access to employment” and helped 125 people with their legal fees in immigration cases between March 2011 and March 2013.
The charity had been lauded by celebrities and received more than £40 million in government funding over the past decade.
Camila Batmanghelidjh, who set up the charity in 1996, has hired a lawyer to stop the clients’ records being released. She told the Sunday Times: “There is no way I am going to let them have the kids’ files.
“There is a risk that they will take all the asylum seekers, all the non-status people, and get the border agency round to collect them in vans.”
As well as helping migrants, it has also been reported that the charity helped a client to have a private sex-change operation after the procedure was refused by the NHS.
The Daily Mail reports further allegations that Batmanghelidjh also used a nurse funded by the charity for her own personal medical treatments. A whistleblower told the paper: “Camila had daily treatments, which [the nurse] would give to her. Camila used her during work time. She spent a lot of time with her.
“The majority of her mornings were spent at the head office with Camila and then she would spend her afternoons at the centre with the children.”
A spokesman for the charity responded: “The nurse in question was acting under the auspices of Camila’s private doctor. At no time was the nurse being paid by Kids Company to administer treatments of any kind to Camila.”
The Charity Commission has opened a statutory investigation into the group, looking at a wide range of allegations of financial mismanagement.
Labour MP Neil Coyle, who represents Bermondsey and Old Southwark, where Kids Company had a centre, said that police are also likely to look into fraud allegations over the number of clients the charity said it had helped.