Captain Tom Moore fund faces charity probe: Foundation in crisis as watchdog prepares to open inquiry over decisions that ‘may have generated significant profit’ for company run by his family
- Captain Sir Tom Moore raised £38million during the first Covid lockdown in April
- He died from Covid the following February just before his 101st birthday
- The Charity Commission’s inquiry is focusing on intellectual property issues
- His family said they welcomed the Charity Commission’s announcement
The Captain Tom Foundation was in crisis last night after the Charity Commission revealed it is opening a statutory inquiry.
It is investigating decisions that ‘may have generated significant profit’ for a company run by the war veteran’s family.
The commission opened a case last year but has escalated it due to ‘newly identified concerns’.
Captain Sir Tom Moore made headlines by raising £38million walking circuits of his garden during the first Covid lockdown in April 2020
Captain Sir Tom Moore raised £38million by walking circuits of his Bedfordshire garden to mark his 100th birthday during the first Covid lockdown in April 2020.
That money was donated to NHS Charities Together and does not fall within the scope of the inquiry. The foundation was set up in May 2020 to continue his legacy. Captain Tom died with Covid the following February.
The Charity Commission’s principal focus will be on intellectual property and trademark issues. As well as donations, the foundation generates income through branded merchandise including T-shirts and gin.
Captain Sir Tom Moore pictured with his own branded gin in November 2020
The branding on the bottle depicts the iconic picture of Captain Tom using his walking frame to raise millions for the NHS
It will examine the trustees’ decision-making and the charity’s governance, including managing conflicts of interest. Captain Tom’s daughter, Hannah Ingram-Moore, is a former trustee and her husband, Colin, remains on the board.
The couple established a company, Club Nook Ltd. The commission said it was given the opportunity to trademark variations of the name Captain Tom, which ‘may have generated significant profit’.
The commission revealed yesterday that last year it looked at the charity’s request to employ mother-of-two Mrs Ingram-Moore on a salary of £60,000 for three days a week, later changed to £100,000 on a full-time basis. It refused, saying the sum was ‘neither reasonable nor justifiable’.
A Captain Tom skirt which is available on Redbubble
Another of Captain Tom product which is available on Redbubble – a cushion with his likeness and a Union Jack
Supported by a zimmer-frame, the Second World War veteran (pictured) set a challenge to walk 100 lengths of his garden at his home in Bedfordshire
The amazing fundraising effort propelled Sir Captain Tom to superstardom. He received a special BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award and achieved a UK number one with a cover of You’ll Never Walk Alone – making him the oldest person to record a UK number one. The accolades didn’t stop there. He was made an honorary colonel and was later knighted by the Queen (pictured in 2020) at Windsor Castle
Mrs Ingram-Moore was allowed to act as interim CEO on £85,000 a year for up to nine months. A new CEO, Jack Gilbert – who has 20 years’ experience in the voluntary sector – took over this month.
Stephen Jones, chairman of the foundation’s board of trustees, said the commission was made aware during the registration process that ‘image rights and intellectual property rights of the name were held within a private family trust’. He added: ‘We will work closely with the commission.’
The family said they welcomed the Charity Commission’s announcement. They said that Club Nook Ltd made its application for trademarks before the formation of the foundation and that Mr and Mrs Ingram-Moore were trustee directors of the charity upon its formation.