Everyone remembers good ol’ Sir Captain Tom Moore, who raised almost £39 million to fund the NHS when the government found itself short of cash. Round and round his garden he went, lapping for Britain, a war hero, the pandemic hero, a man neigh sanctified by all the great and the good in the land— the best of the British. Yet now, like some Shakespearian play, the good name— or rather, trademark— of Captain Tom has been marred by those formally beside him.
The Charity Commission has opened an investigation into the charity which was set up in Captain Tom’s name. The good captain’s daughter, Hannah Ingram-Moore and her husband Colin, are alleged to have personally profited by trademarking the ‘Captain Tom’ name through their private company Club Nook Ltd, which the charity— of whom Ingram-Moore is a trustee— allegedly had no objection to. The watchdog will further investigate the charity’s administration, its compliance to charity law, and potential conflicts of interest between the charity and other companies connected to the Ingram-Moore family.
Already the Charity Commission has questioned Ingram-Moore’s £60,000 salary for a three-day-a-week role, which was followed by refusing Ingram-Moore being appointed as the charity’s Chief Executive on a six-figure salary in July 2021. Since then, the watchdog agreed for her to be appointed on a £85,000 wage for nine months. However, even though under investigation, neither the charity nor Club Nook Ltd have yet to be found guilty of any wrongdoing. As for the actual charity work, the 2022 publication of the charity’s accounts show £240,000 incurred in costs, with only £160,000 on legitimate causes.
So, what is the moral of the story? That the so-called ‘new normal’ is still the same normal: if there are pennies to be made from death then by jove our Great British entrepreneurs will be sure to make them. Charity directors taking their very self-charitable cut is never a new story. And should it turn out that they embezzled donors’ money, then more the fool for the donors for being naïve. Easily tricked by the tinsel of a war hero and the WWII rhetoric that spins a surreal fantasy of a mad patriot’s wet dream of theDailyMailgobblingroyalfamilyculthardBrexitthisismylandI’mbri’ish, the donor forgets that a charity that raises millions is always too good to be true: There are always grubby hands.