Broken Rainbow, the only national charity in the UK to deal with domestic violence exclusively in the LGBT sphere, closed its doors last month for the last time.
On June 3rd the charity, which ran a helpline and and advice service, went into liquidation. At the time the causes of the collapse were unknown, but there have since been accusations of serious financial mismanagement as well as a failure of oversight both by the charity’s trustees and the home office, its biggest backer.
It has been reported that a large number of internal documents were recently leaked by a whistle-blower, revealing troubling events in the run up to Broken Rainbow’s collapse. The documents show lavish spending on first-class travel, expensive offices and lavish gifts, even at the time the charity’s CEO was told that the company bank account contained only a few pounds.
Additionally, it appears that a treasurer for the charity quit within weeks of taking on the position, telling the board of trustees that “restricted funds” had been “misspent”, which could amount to “illegal activity”. At the time of its closure, Broken Rainbow had received repeated demands from HMRC regarding unpaid tax and national insurance contributions from staff salaries.
Confronted with this information and accusations of failure to act, the charity’s trustees released a statement denying negligence but claiming “a comprehensive investigation into the operation of Broken Rainbow is both warranted and necessary” and added “Most of the issues identified by took place before any of the existing trustees were in post and we simply cannot comment on what we do not as yet know.”
The government are now facing questions regarding the Home Office’s continued donations of public money to Broken Rainbow, right up until its collapse. Last year the Cabinet Office found itself in a similar situation, donating £3 million to the charity Kids Company just days before it went under.
For those in need of the support Broken Rainbow used to provide, the Home Office has pledged to continue funding LGBT helplines but through Galop, another LGBT-focused charity.