A charity managed by one of the Conservatives’ top parliamentary candidates is facing scrutiny by regulators after accounts indicated massively disproportionate back-office costs and a failure to account for nearly £16,000.

Shaun Bailey, the Tory candidate for Hammersmith, is the Managing Director of My Generation, apparently set up to “alleviate social and economic disadvantage”. The accounts for years ending 2007, 2008 and 2009 make grim reading for donors, whose money appears to be massively wasted on “management and administration” and “fundraising and publicity”:

It seems Bailey wouldn’t know voluntary sector best practice if it jumped up and said “marginal constituency”. CharityFacts was founded by Professor Adrian Sargeant of Bristol Business School and supported by the RSPCA, the NSPCC, Cancer Research UK and the British Red Cross:

We would normally have concerns about a charity spending more than 15% of its income on administration. Such charities we would ask to justify their level of expense. – CharityFacts

Fifteen percent, eh? My Generation’s 2007-2008 accounts show that nearly 19 in every 20 pounds spent that year under Bailey’s management was blown on back-office expenses and promotion (Bailey himself features heavily in their materials). The small blue segment at the top of the chart below designates “direct charitable expenditure”:

Having spent a mere 44% on administration in the last year for which accounts are available, Bailey might well claim that the charity has improved in this regard. However this is still way above what would be expected and, as a report by independent examiner’s report notes, there are “£15,952 of payments without any supporting records”.

Scrapbook is not in the business of attacking charities for no reason but My Generation is absolutely integral to Brand Bailey. What’s the first sentence in his candidate biography?

While it may perform some good works, there is no doubt that this operation is a plank in a broader PR offensive by Conservative candidates. As The Times notes:

“Both [Joanne Cash and Shaun Bailey] are seen as pioneers of Mr Cameron’s plan to rebuild communities through self-help initiatives. The party claims its candidates have begun 150 such projects, although, when contacted, officials could cite only five.”

Blogger Ivan Pope has an excellent post on these charity-cum-political activities, written around the time Bailey was selected. In May 2007, our protagonist was bragging to the Guardian about his do-goodery. But digging done by Pope at this time indicate that that My Generation had no website and seemed only to have been discussed in the context of Shaun Bailey’s political career.

The company vehicle used for the charity had only been renamed from “The Policy Alliance” months before, around the time Bailey started jockeying for the Hammersmith selection. What a remarkable coincidence!

More to come on this one.

UPDATE 16:10 Just received the following from a reader who would rather remain anonymous: “I did an event with Bailey recently. It turned into him just promoting himself”!

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  4. Ah! You finally got around to publishing this story.

    I had a look at the accounts in more detail, persumably you forgot to scroll down far enough, and there’s a split of the 2008 admin spending by type. Only £28k was on salaries (not much when split between two or three full time workers).

    Then, you completely ignore the fact that a small growing charity would have higher admin costs relative to its size than a large fully formed charity.

    Hammersmith and Fulham Refugee Forum had income of £167k in 2009 and spent £157k on admin. That’s a slightly higher ratio than this case. I just picked the first charity I saw when I searched for “Hammersmith” on the Charity Commision website, so I have no reason to beleive that they are special.

    Maybe Mr Bailey doesn’t need to answer any questions, because they’re already answered in his Annual Reports (which were sent in to the Commision several days late in 2007 and 2008).

    More details here.


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  6. @Angry Walrus: “you completely ignore the fact that a small growing charity would have higher admin costs relative to its size than a large fully formed charity”.

    Fact? Where is your evidence for this “fact”? Are you, in all seriousness, suggesting an admin to charitable expenditure ratio of 20:1 doesn’t merit, at the very least, serious scrutiny?

  7. maxine fraser says:

    If Shaun Bailey is so in touch with black urban youth, how come he failed to win the last general election against Andrew Slaughter MP. Listening to him the current slot he has been given on the Stephen Nolan show. it is not difficult to see why he never got a seat in Parliament. His inability to debate sensible cogent arguments is there for all to see. The truth is that he does not respresent black urban youth and does indeed have a troubled relaionship with the black community. He reminds me very much of those wokring class tories like Baroness Warsi who are unlectable but somehow manage to achieve publicity and status all out of proportion to their actual ability. Prior to joing the Tories Shaun Bailey did in fact try to get selected for the Labour Party. Needless to say he was not good enough and went running straight away into the arms of the Tories. That act in itself speaks volumes about Shaun Bailey who needs to be outed at every opportunity for the opporuntist that he is!!!

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