Charity Commission boss ‘horrified’ by allegations
Scandal-hit Presidents Club has announced that it is to close following allegations that hostesses were groped at its men-only annual charity dinner last Thursday.
In a statement, the organisation said: “The trustees have decided that the Presidents Club will not host any further fundraising events.Remaining funds will be distributed in an efficient manner to children’s charities and it will then be closed.”
There has been widespread outrage following claims about the event when an undercover FT reporter exposed how female ‘hostesses’ were groped and sexually harassed at the men-only charity fundraiser at The Dorchester hotel in Mayfair last week.
Following this, the man who helped organise the dinner, David Meller, has quit the Department for Education board and also quit his non-executive role of the Presidents Club, which reportedly hired 130 ‘tall, thin and pretty’ women as hostesses at its annual black-tie.
Event compere and comedian David Walliams has also issued a clarification that he was “appalled” by the claims but had not witnessed anything.
Even the head of the Charity Commission has said she is “horrified” over reports of groping and harassment at the men-only Presidents Club dinner – and has asked for an urgent meeting with the charity’s trustees.
“I am personally horrified by the reported behaviour,” wrote Helen Stephenson, adding: “The commission has made clear that we consider it has no place being undertaken in the name of charity, whether raising funds for good causes or not.”
Two undercover reporters, who posed as hostesses for the dinner, have claimed that some women were repeatedly propositioned by the male guests, with one man allegedly exposing himself. One of the reporters said she was groped ‘several times’.