Charity Behind 'Grope-Fest' Folds

Britain's Presidents Club to close after distributing remaining funds
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 25, 2018 6:53 AM CST
This 2010 photo offers a look inside London's Dorchester Hotel, where the Presidents Club event was held last Thursday.   (Wikimedia/Oxyman)

(Newser) – The charity organization responsible for a dinner and auction that's been skewered in the British House of Commons this week will close its doors. Trustees of the 33-year-old Presidents Club announced Wednesday the organization will shut down once its remaining funds are "distributed in an efficient manner to children’s charities," per the Guardian. However, it's not clear if charities are even willing to accept funds tied to the men-only Presidents Club Charity Dinner, where an undercover Financial Times reporter described female hostesses subjected to repeated sexual harassment including groping. Evelina London Children's Hospital has already refused a a $570,000 donation from last Thursday's event, while Great Ormond Street Hospital says it will return $750,000 donated by the Presidents Club between 2009 and 2016.

The Bank of England, Tesla, and BMW also revoked prizes auctioned off at the event, alongside lots for a night out at a strip club and a dose of plastic surgery to "spice up your wife," reports FT. Global advertising group WPP and real estate fund manager Frogmore similarly cut ties with the Presidents Club as politicians derided the event attended by key British figures including billionaire Sir Philip Green and education minister Nadhim Zahawi, who was reportedly reprimanded. A spokesperson for Prime Minster Theresa May says she was "appalled" by the reporting, while a spokesperson for Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said the event was "a gross example of sexual harassment under this organization's umbrella." The Charity Commission, a government body regulating charities, is investigating.

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