Bookmaker Paddy Power Betfair (PPB) have been fined £2.2 million by the Gambling Commission for failing to carry out proper checks on money wagered.
One instance was a total of
£894,754 stolen and wagered over a four year period from charity Birmingham
Dogs Home by its CEO Simon Price, with the help of his wife Alayna. Price was
given a five year prison sentence last year and his wife received a two year
suspended sentence. PPB will now pay the stolen money back to the charity.
As part of the fine PPB will
pay £1.7 million to charity Gamble Aware, nearly £500,000 to other victims –
problem gamblers they allowed to carry on betting with them – and £50,000 for
the costs of the investigation.
Mike Betts, CEO of Motability
Operations a firm supplying disabled people with vehicles in exchange for their
taxpayer funded benefits has announced that he will now heed the multiple calls
for him to step down and will do so in 2020.
His announced departure follows
a damning report on the way the company has hoarded huge reserves of the
taxpayer cash paid to it and the “obscenely high” salaries and
bonuses, nearly £3 million including a covered up £2 million in Betts case,
paid to its directors. It also follows some seriously good investigative
journalism by the Daily Mail newspaper.
The Motability charity was set
up by Lord Sterling, who is now its chairman. Sterling was also chairman of
P&O when it owned venue Earls Court and Olympia and was investigated by the
Monopolies and Mergers Commission for abuse of monopoly by overcharging
exhibitors there, a highly lucrative activity Sterling fought hard to, and
failed to, retain. At this time some publications were infested by unfortunate
typographical gremlins that rendered his name, most misleadingly, as Lord
Criticism of Diabetes UK has
followed their decision to accept £500,000 in sponsorship from Britvic, makers
of the fizzy drinks Tango and Pepsi, which the charity has identified as
contributing to the current diabetes epidemic.
Doctors have described the
arrangement as “appalling” and as undermining trust in the charity
from sufferers of the disease, as well as losing the charity credibility.
There have been calls for the
charity’s CEO Chris Askew to give the money back. The funding policy for
Diabetes UK states: “No commercial partnership will be entered into with a
company whose product or service is considered to be detrimental to those
living with, or at risk of diabetes.”
Gambling addiction charities
have attacked the £265 million salary that founder and joint CEO of online gambling
firm bet365 Denise Coates CBE pays herself as “disgraceful” and
Recent articles in the press
have listed the misery caused by gambling debts, and the rising number of
suicides as a result, as the “terrible price paid” to fund Coates’s income,
which makes her one of the highest paid women in the world.
The greatly increased fees
charged by the government for probate next year could adversely affect the
amount of money left for charities, it is feared.
The new fees will see charges
rise from the current fixed £215 to a sliding scale based on the value of the
estate. Estates of up to £50,000 are exempt from any charges but estates of
£500,001 will pay a £2,500 fee and those of £2,000,000 a fee of £6,000.
According to the Institute of
Legacy Management the loss to charities could be as much as £10 million, though
this equates to around a third of one per cent of the £2.9 billion left to
charities in wills last year, with health and cancer groups being the largest
A travel firm in Kent is being
investigated by police for theft from a charity after they failed to provide
flight tickets to New Zealand that had been paid for by the charity.
Pilgrim Bandits, a charity for
injured veterans had bought tickets from Black Tip Travel of Tonbridge for 22
injured servicemen participating in a fundraising cycle ride in October.
However, two days before they were due to fly out Black Tip Travel told the
charity that no flights were booked due to “simple errors” and a
“mix-up” with Emirates airline.
A statement on Black Tip
Travel’s website placed by the company’s sole director, Dale Whitney, advises
that the company has some “issues” and is “currently getting
Two mothers whose 16 year old
son and daughter from the same school committed suicide have set up a charity
to help make sure their tragedy doesn’t happen to anyone else.
Rose White, mother of Harry and
Sarah Finke, mother of Rachel have set up Safaplace at Stoke Newington School
using more than £15,000 donated in their children’s memory. The aim is to help
teenagers with mental health issues and to this end the money has so far been
used to pay mental health experts to give talks to pupils and to train teachers
to spot signs of distress.
Both mothers believe much
teenage mental illness occurs because of “exam pressure, social media and
fear about the future”.
A comedian has pulled out of a
student charity fundraiser at the University of London in January where he had
agreed to give his time free, after he was asked to sign a contract banning him
from causing offence in twelve separate areas.
The contract sent by politics
student Fisayo Eniolorunda, event organiser for the Unicef on Campus society to
comedian Konstant Kisin required him to follow the society’s no-tolerance
policy regarding racism, sexism, classism, ageism, and ableism, along with
homophobia, transphobia, biphobia, xenophobia, Islamophobia, anti-religion and
anti-atheism. The contract also stated that “It does not mean these
subjects cannot be discussed but it must be done in a respectful and
However Mr Kisin, 35, who was born in the Soviet
Union took the ban as undermining his freedom of speech, something that he said
happened in the Soviet Union, and declined to perform “on a point of
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The grieving Australian parents of a 21 year old woman who was one of seven killed at London Bridge and Borough Market last June have founded a charity in her name.
Sara Zelenak had been “having the time of her life” in London, and working as an au pair before she was killed by three Islamist terrorists wearing fake suicide vests who ran through Borough Market stabbing and slashing at those drinking and eating there before being shot dead by police. Sarz Sanctuary is, according to parents Mark and Julie Wallace their daughter’s legacy to London and will help those affected by terrorist incidents cope with their grieving.