The charity sector has suffered considerable and probably permanent damage due to the recent slew of sleaze allegations aimed at a few large organisations.

In Haiti it has been reported that some Oxfam staff organised orgies in a villa in Port au Prince, with women offered aid for sex after the 2010 earthquake there in the “culture of entitlement” that apparently existed at Oxfam. As a result Haiti has banned Oxfam GB while it investigates the allegations, including those claiming that some of the prostitutes were 14 years old. The age of consent in Haiti is 18. Continue reading


In the wake of the collapse of the President’s Club after a stag event at which female hostesses were groped and propositioned and sex workers were said to circulate, Great Ormond Street Hospital claimed that it would pay back charitable donations made by the club, thought to total more than £500,000.

This was because they did not wish their good name to be associated with the sleazy goings-on. However since then they have paused to reconsider their position in the light of donor threats to withdraw support and questions such as why innocent and sick children should suffer because of the scandal.

The “dirty money” dilemma is certainly one classic one faced by the sector, and it will be interesting to see how GOSH resolves it (reader’s views welcome).


The management of the Royal Albert Hall is to face an overdue and judge-led inquiry later this year into why the charity allows its trustees to own seats privately and then to profit from selling tickets for them at significantly inflated prices.

The inquiry will establish whether or not the considerable private gain is acceptable for trustees controlling the hall. If it is not then the Charity Commission has the power to replace the trustees and appoint their own independent ones to run the hall.


The number of advertisements for betting firms during sports matches, and the number of sports pundits extolling their products is worrying gambling charities which are concerned about the effect of these items in hooking children into gambling.

Since the last Labour government relaxed laws governing the broadcast of ads encouraging betting the number seen by children has tripled, with many ads urging bets on football matches screened before the 9.00pm watershed.

The other problem is the number of sports pundits who now act as ambassadors, or paid pushers, to betting firms, with Alan Shearer pushing Coral and Jermaine Jenas pushing Unibet. Meanwhile Robbie Savage promotes William Hill on Twitter and Michael Vaughan promotes bookmaker Mr Green.

Some football clubs themselves have ads for gambling on football shirts sold to under-18’s.

Figures produced in 2016 by charity GambleAware show that problem gamblers cost the UK taxpayer up to £1.2 billion a year. Betting firms are the biggest suppliers of gifts to UK MP’s.


The chief executive of an animal shelter who plundered donations of £640,000 in nine years to fund his online gambling habit has been jailed for five years.

Simon Price, 53, diverted cash from legacies left to Birmingham Dogs Home to pay for his losses on his Betfair online account. He also raised money with fake invoices from solicitors, construction companies and marketing companies. He admitted multiple counts of fraud by abuse of position. Sentencing Price Judge Patrick Thomas QC told him that his crimes, “while in the grip of a gambling addiction” had “weakened public confidence in the work of the dog’s home. Continue reading


Tests carried out by the Humane Society UK have revealed that real animal for is being misleadingly passed off as faux fur on a number of clothing items sold in Britain.

Researchers found:

  • o Fox fur trim on the hoods of coats sold by TK Maxx and Amazon.
  • o Fox fur on a bobble hat sold by brand Miss Bardo.
  • o Mink fur on earrings sold by online store Boohoo.
  • o Rabbit fur on shoes from Boohoo
  • o Rabbit fur on shoes and scarves at Amazon.
  • o Rabbit fur on keychains from online stores Not On The High Street and Groupon.

Fur farms, where animals endure “Appalling deprivation” were banned in the UK in 2,000 but fur farms in Russia, Poland and China are still sources.


The League Against Cruel Sports has welcomed the U-turn by Theresa May over her promise of an MP’s vote on overturning the ban on using dogs for hunting wild animals in England and Wales. The ban was introduced by the Hunting Act 2004, and by the Labour government of the time.

Mrs May, a supporter of foxhunting, said she had heard “the clear message” that most voters did not support the “sport” and said that there would be “No vote in this parliament”.

The League Against Cruel Sports commented that “the Government now accepts that cruel sports should no longer be a part of 21st century society”.


An undercover investigation by the Financial Times at a President’s Club fundraising dinner in January at the Dorchester Hotel, London, led to allegations of hostesses being groped by some of the guests and sex workers supplied. Since the details were published the Club has wound up and some charities have refused to accept its donations.

Shortly after this it was revealed that hostesses at the February ICE Totally Gaming conference and exhibition at Excel, London were told to wear “nothing more than swimsuits” to attract buyers (presumably male) to their stands.

All this has brought on tut-tutting attacks of the moral compasses and calls in some of the event trade press to “root out sexism” from our industry, and everyone else’s, but it is left unclear who can or will actually do it. Question is, should the event or exhibition organiser be responsible, and in turn their sponsors and exhibitors? Should it be any trade association behind the event? Or should it be the venue where the event is being held?



A very public row has been running since a blogger on social media asked the owner of a Dublin hotel for a free five-night stay for herself and a partner in exchange for some positive publicity on her website.

Elle Darby,22, who blogs her followers about beauty, lifestyle and travel, sent her email request to Paul Stenson, owner of the Charleville Lodge Hotel, Dublin, who turned her request down, and then obtained publicity for his hotel by publishing the request, and his rejection. Darby, who received abuse from bravely anonymous internet trolls as a result, has published a tearful video entitled “i was exposed (SO embarrassing)” and Stenson has responded by offering his customers T-shirts featuring the row.

Views on the uninspiring spat are polarised. Some feel that Darby overestimated the selling power of her blog and was accordingly naive in asking to be given an expensive five-night stay for two. As a rule most honest event industry journalists writing about hotels are offered just one or occasionally two nights to do the job. Others feel that Darby was also naive in assuming that a hotel highly star-rated for its facilities would not be cursed with poor service and/or terrible food.

However there is also the view that Stenson was gratuitously cruel in the way he rejected Darby’s hopeful approach, which came across to us as just something to boost his ego, something he clearly needs.


Britain’s first women only members club is set to open its doors in a townhouse at Rathbone Place, Bloomsbury, London on March 8, where facilities include meetings rooms, an exhibition area, wellness area, library and beauty bar. Annual membership is £750, founding members include Kathy Burke, Tara Fitzgerald and Naomi Harris and the founders, business women Anna Jones and Debbie Wosskow, say that the club will provide an environment for over-21’s to socialise, network, debate and work out.

Men can only attend as guests, all the wines served are from all-female vineyards and all the cocktails are named after famous women. These could possibly include the delightful Queen Mary 1of England who sadistically had hundreds of male Protestants murdered by burning at the stake for their religious beliefs in the 1550’s, which earned her the nickname Bloody Mary.