Captain Tom book staff believed 'significant donation' would be made to charity, before family received £800,000 profit

10 July 2024, 06:14 | Updated: 10 July 2024, 14:37

Captain Tom raised millions for charity
Captain Tom raised millions for charity. Picture: Alamy

By Kit Heren

People who worked on Captain Sir Tom Moore's book trilogy have said they believed "a significant donation" would be made to charity from the profits.

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The lockdown legend wrote three books - Captain Tom's Life Lessons, One Hundred Steps and Tomorrow Will Be A Good Day - from which a family company received around £800,000, his daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore revealed last year.

Ms Ingram-Moore said her father's wish had been for his family to get the money, despite him suggesting in one of the books that the purpose of the books was to raise money for charity.

A foreword to his autobiography reads: "Astonishingly at my age, with the offer to write this memoir I have also been given the chance to raise even more money for the charitable foundation now established in my name."

But £800,000 went to Club Nook Ltd., a company that is separate from his charity, the Captain Tom Foundation.

Read more: Captain Tom's daughter admits keeping £800,000 from her dad's book sales and 'regrets' spa complex row

Read more: Captain Tom's daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore disqualified as charity trustee by Charity Commission

Captain Tom with one of his books
Captain Tom with one of his books. Picture: Alamy

A source told the Times: "Everyone that worked on the books [...] was very much told that a significant donation would be made by the family into the foundation.

"I don't know if I thought it would be all, or a lot, but I thought there would be a significant donation."

But they did acknowledge that raising money for charity had not been the sole purpose of the books, and said they did not know Captain Tom's own wishes with regard to the money.

Captain Tom died aged 100 in 2021, having raised almost £40 million for NHS charities during the Covid pandemic by walking around his garden 100 times during the first lockdown in the spring of 2020. He was later knighted by the Queen. The money raised for NHS charities is separate from the foundation.

Hannah Ingram-Moore, daughter of Captain Tom Moore
Hannah Ingram-Moore, daughter of Captain Tom Moore. Picture: Alamy

Ms Ingram-Moore and her husband Colin have since been disqualified from being charity trustees for eight and ten years respectively.

The Charity Commission opened a case into the Captain Tom Foundation shortly after his death in 2021 and launched an inquiry in June 2022.

It came amid concerns about its management and independence from Sir Tom's family.

Charity Commission CEO, David Holdsworth, said: "As a fair, independent and evidence-led regulator we only disqualify someone from serving as a trustee or a senior manager in a charity when the evidence gathered means it is proportionate and lawful to do so.

"The evidence in this investigation meant that the level of misconduct and/or mismanagement was serious enough to warrant this action.

"People generously support good causes with the clear expectation that trustees will act in the best interests of their charities.

"As an independent regulator, it is vital that we uphold and protect this trust, including by taking robust regulatory action where appropriate, based on firm evidence."

Hannah Ingram-Moore, the daughter of Captain Sir Tom Moore
Hannah Ingram-Moore, the daughter of Captain Sir Tom Moore. Picture: Alamy

Captain Tom's family described the ongoing inquiry as a "harrowing and debilitating ordeal".

A full statement read: "We have been served an order of disqualification as trustees by the Charity Commission, it was stated that if we did not appeal this order, by the 25th June 2024 deadline, we would appear on the register of removed persons.

The disqualification has been imposed without the conclusion of the statutory inquiry into The Captain Tom Foundation.

"The Commission's failure to conclude the inquiry prolongs our deep distress and hinders our ability to move on with our lives, extending the pain and impact on our family and our father / grandfathers' legacy.

"It has been a harrowing and debilitating ordeal that has gone on for over two years.

"We are increasingly concerned that the Charity Commission's process may have evolved into a relentless pursuit, and question whether it is a tactic by the Commission to make our lives more difficult, by suspending us in constant fear and mental anguish.

"The orders of disqualification do not state that Hannah Ingram-Moore or Colin Ingram-Moore have misappropriated or received unauthorised payments from the charity's funds, including public donations.

"We have never accessed or made any payments from the charity's bank account.

"Independent Trustees have maintained full control over the charity's finances since inception.

"We fundamentally disagree with the conclusions reached by the Charity Commission.

"Despite our vehement objections to the Disqualification Order, we have made the extremely difficult decision not to pursue an appeal. The profound emotional upheaval and financial burden make such a course of action untenable.

"It is widely recognised that the funds raised in April 2020 were directed entirely to NHS Charities Together. Public donations were managed by JustGiving and transferred directly to NHS Charities Together, without any involvement from our family in the distribution process.

"We have fully co-operated with the Charity Commission at all times."

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