What's happened to Captain Tom Moore's Foundation? Full story behind inquiry and planning permission row

11 July 2023, 12:55

Tom Moore's daughter Hannah Ingram plus a picture of her home estate and Tom Moore himself
Captain Tom Moore's foundation has become the subject of controversy recently. Picture: Alamy

By Jenny Medlicott

NHS Hero Captain Sir Tom Moore passed away in 2021 but his name has re-entered the public eye in recent days after a foundation set up in his name faces new questions. Here's the story so far behind inquiry launched.

Captain Tom Moore unexpectedly acquired national treasure status aged 99 after his efforts to raise money for NHS Charities Together during the Covid pandemic in 2020.

However, more recently, his foundation, which was set up in his name by his family in honour of his incredible achievements, has become centre of an inquiry as the Charity Commission announced it would be reviewing the accounts of the charity.

On top of that, Captain Tom Moore's daughter, Hannah Ingram-Moore, is also facing a planning permission battle as a spa on her home grounds, set up for the foundation, is under threat of being demolished.

Read more: Captain Tom Foundation's CEO left 'months ago' after regulator investigation into branded merchandise

Read more: We can only hope this latest controversy does not overshadow Captain Tom's achievements and legacy

Captain Sir Tom Moore 'would have hated' his family's building of a spa complex when they only had permission to build a museum honouring his achievements, a former friend has said.

Here's everything you need to know about Captain Tom Moore's achievements, the controversy surrounding his foundation and what's happening with the spa demolition.

Captain Sir Tom Moore raised millions for NHS charities over the pandemic.
Captain Sir Tom Moore raised millions for NHS charities over the pandemic. Picture: Alamy

Who was Captain Tom Moore and what were his achievements?

Captain Tom was a decorated war veteran, serving in India and the Burma campaign during the Second World War and later became an instructor in armoured warfare.

The former British Army officer became famous when he announced his plans to walk 100 lengths of his garden over the course of 24 days during lockdown in a move that would go on to win the hearts of Brits all over the country.

He aimed to raise £1,000 by his 100th birthday, but as his efforts tugged on the heartstrings of Brits, Captain Sir Tom achieved his goal in just four days, and went on to raise a total of £32.8m by his birthday.

By May 19, Captain Tom was to become a knight as it was announced the war veteran was to be knighted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in July 2020 in her first official appearance of the pandemic.

The following year in February 2021, Captain Tom Moore died after a brief hospitalisation with pneumonia and subsequent contraction of Covid-19.

Why has there been an inquiry launched into the Captain Tom Moore Foundation?

The Captain Tom Moore Foundation was set up on 5 May 2020 and was separate from the money he raised with his walk which benefitted a huge amount of causes. But in February 2022 - a year after his death - it emerged that the foundation had spent more on management fees than it had released in charitable grants.

It raised £1,096,526 between its incorporation of May 5 2020 and 31 May 2021, yet only £160,000 had been released as charitable grants.

A hefty chunk of the amounts raised remained in a reserve, but £162,336 had gone on management fees, £31,204 on admin costs, £32,275 on governance, £8,280 on IT and £6,542 on office maintenance.

Responding to the revelation, the foundation said: “As a newly established charity, expenditure has been incurred in building the team, which for some months worked on a voluntary basis until funds were forthcoming.

“During this period, we also incurred costs in appointing The Philanthropy Company who provided expert support on governance and fundraising initiatives as well as working with our charity partners to identify initiatives that the foundation could support and which would drive value and public benefit.”

But it later transpired that the foundation had paid out £54,039 to two charities, both owned by Captain Tom’s daughter, Hannah Ingram-Moore and her husband, The Independent reported.

The foundation soon after became the subject of a compliance case by the watchdog.

Read more: Captain Tom's daughter shares holiday snap amid backlash over building spa complex 'in hero's name'

Read more: Neighbours of Captain Tom's daughter want to 'take a sledgehammer' to spa complex built in his name

Read more: Captain Tom's daughter fights order to demolish spa and pool complex 'built in name of hero's charity'

Hannah Ingram-Moore wearing a printed blouse
The Charity Commission previously blocked the foundation from making Hannah Ingram-Moore its CEO. Picture: Alamy

On February 18, it then emerged that the foundation had been blocked by the Charity Commission (CC) from making Captain Tom’s daughter the foundation's CEO. If appointed, she would have been salaried £150,000 a year.

As the late-veteran’s daughter became a greater subject of controversy, she addressed the foundation’s compliance case, speaking on This Morning at the time, she said: “It’s clear our accounts are there to be seen but we’re not hiding anything, there’s nothing wrong, we haven’t made any false action and I genuinely think the vast majority of people know that.

“Those clickbait headlines have been destructive and have put the foundation at peril."

She added: “I think we have been incredibly naive, but I don’t think that means we’re bad. I think we’re wholesome good people and we run businesses, we understand.

“I think we stepped into this for love, for humanity, for allowing as many people as possible access to his legacy. We never thought of the darkness, never crossed our minds.”

By June 2022, a formal investigation was opened into the foundation after the CC received evidence of possible serious misconduct amid allegations the Moore family had been profiting off of the charity.

In particular, the CC intended to look into allegations that one of the private companies owned by the Ingram-Moores, Club Nook Ltd, had made a profit by trademarking the name Captain Tom. However the pair said this happened before the foundation had been established.

Helen Stephenson, the chief executive of the Charity Commission, said at the time: “The late Captain Sir Tom Moore inspired the nation with his courage, tenacity and concern for others. It is vital that public trust in charity is protected, and that people continue to feel confident in supporting good causes.

“We do not take any decision to open an inquiry lightly, but in this case our concerns have mounted. We consider it in the public interest to examine them through a formal investigation, which gives us access to the full range of our protective and enforcement powers.”

Captain Tom branded products also had to be removed from sale amid the investigation, over reports the breached charity law.

The Captain Tom Foundation has stopped taking money from donors.
The Captain Tom Foundation has stopped taking money from donors. Picture: Alamy

What is the planning permission row surrounding Tom Moore's foundation?

Hannah Ingram-Moore has returned to the spotlight amid allegations she had used her father’s name to build a spa and swimming pool complex at her home.

The luxury outbuilding, which houses a pool and changing facilities has been branded a "monstrosity" by nearby residents.

Mrs Ingram-Moore, 52, and her husband have been ordered to tear down the block after it emerged on Tuesday it had been built without planning permission.

The family used the name of the Captain Tom Foundation to put up the building back in 2021, which was erected "in connection with the Captain Tom Foundation and its charitable objectives".

But after building the pad and departing from original plans, the couple submitted a retrospective planning request which was rejected.

A spokesperson for Central Bedfordshire Council, the planning authority for the area, said: "An enforcement notice requiring the demolition of the now-unauthorised building was issued and this is now subject to an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate."

Neighbours in the village of Marston Moretaine described being appalled at the revelation, describing the C-shaped block as an eyesore.

"It's a horrible monstrosity," one elderly resident told The Sun.

"It has just blocked our view from the kitchen. Give me a sledgehammer and I'll knock the place down myself."

On Tuesday, the foundation put out a statement saying it would not seek more donations, and was closing all payment channels, while the Charity Commission carried out an inquiry. The inquiry is not related to the money Captain Tom raised for the NHS.