One of the main publishers behind Captain Sir Tom Moore’s autobiography, which was allegedly written to ‘support’ a foundation set up in his name, has refused to divulge whether he gave any money to the charity on the sale of the book.
Just a month after the late veteran’s multi-million pound fundraising effort during the first Covid lockdown, the Captain Tom Foundation has announced the publication of his £20 autobiography and children’s picture book of £12.99 to ‘support his new charity’.
The veteran’s autobiography – who raised nearly £39million (including tax refunds) for NHS Charities Together by walking laps of his garden – has become a Sunday time No. 1 bestseller.
However, more than two years later, Penguin Random House (PRH) – one of the world’s largest book publishers – has not disclosed whether it has donated funds to the charity from the sale of the publications at the request of The Independent. Instead, he cited “confidential contract details, which of course, legally, we are not free to divulge.” The publisher said it had “not acted in a manner contrary to charity law”.
It comes after the Charity Commission launched a statutory investigation into the Captain Tom Foundation last month, warning that Club Nook Ltd – a company run by the veteran’s daughter, Hannah Ingram-Moore, and her husband, Colin – “may have generated significant profits. register the veteran’s name.
The watchdog opened a regulatory compliance case against the charity in March 2021, but said it had “stepped up its engagement due to newly identified concerns about the arrangements between the charity and a business linked to the Ingram-Moore family, as well as ongoing concerns about trustees. ‘ decision-making and governance of the association”. Accounts for Club Nook Ltd, covering its first year from April 24, 2020 to April 30, 2021, show its profit and loss reserves stood at £484,894.
In recent months, the Captain Tom Foundation has been plagued by controversy. In February, The Independent reported how he was told that part of the Charity Commission’s compliance case involved a request by the foundation to appoint Hannah Ingram-Moore as chief executive on a six-figure salary, with the watchdog having blocked the nomination last summer.
In another development, The Independent revealed in May that gin sold to raise funds for the foundation had been withdrawn from sale after an apparent breach of the Charities Act.
In May 2020, The sun reported that Captain Tom Moore had secured a book deal worth up to £1.5million, writing: “His PR agents are said to have struck a deal with publisher Michael Joseph, who is part of the Penguin Random House band.”
In the same month, The bookstore reported: “Captain Tom Moore… publishes his memoirs with Michael Joseph and a children’s book with Puffin, after reaching an agreement with Penguin Random House.” The room quoted Francesca Dow, executive director of Penguin Random House Children’s, as saying, “We’ve leveraged each other’s strengths to bring the legacy of the Captain Tom Foundation – to help people help others, across generations – to readers of all ages.”
A Tweeter on May 14, 2020, from Captain Tom Moore’s account, sharing a video of the veteran, said, “”I can’t wait to share my autobiography with you… Better write! “The book will support the launch of the Captain Tom Foundation…more news to come on that! Thank you @PenguinUKBooks For the movie. The Captain Tom Foundation website features a news article, published the same month, about how two books in his name, an autobiography and a children’s picture book, “will support his new charity – The Captain Tom Foundation”.
The fundraising autobiography prologue, Tomorrow will be a good day, which was released in hardcover in September 2020, suggests the book is raising money for the Captain Tom Foundation. He states: “Amazingly, at my age, with the offer to write these memoirs, I also had the chance to raise even more money for the charitable foundation now established in my name.”
PRH has published four Captain Tom books. His autobiography and the picture book, One Hundred Steps: The Story of Captain Sir Tom Moorewere first published in 2020. Captain Tom’s Life Lessons and One Hundred Reasons for Hope: True Stories of Everyday Heroes both came out last year.
Hardback and paperback copies of A hundred reasons to hope – whose introduction is written by Hannah Ingram-Moore – say the copyright of the text is held by “Club Nook Limited, 2021”.
A pocket version of Hundred steps lists copyrighted text as “Tom Moore, 2020” and a paperback copy of Tomorrow will be a good day lists the copyright as “Captain Sir Tom Moore, 2020”. The Kindle version of Captain Tom’s Life Lessons lists the copyright as “Captain Sir Tom Moore, 2021”.
Legislation states that the actual amount paid to a charity under a business partnership must be specified. In the case of the £14.99 A hundred reasons to hope book, a statement is made on Penguin’s website specifying how much money goes to the Captain Tom Foundation from the sale of the books. Penguin’s website states: “Inspired by and with the blessing of a man and his walking frame, a donation of £1 will be made to the Captain Tom Foundation for all hardback print sales in the UK and Ireland .”
However, there is no such statement on the Penguin website about the web pages featuring each of Captain Sir Tom Moore’s other three books. For Hundred stepsthe publisher’s website states that the book was “published to support the establishment of the Captain Tom Foundation”, but no further information is provided as to whether a specific donation is being provided to the charity and, if yes, how much is it.
Shivaji Shiva, a charity partner at law firm VWV, said: ‘The fact that one of the books is being sold on the basis that a £1 donation will be made to the Captain Tom Foundation for all sales of hardback prints in the UK and Ireland’ raises questions such as: why hasn’t there been a similar statement regarding the other three Captain Tom books?
“Compared to the other three books, was a donation made to the foundation from the proceeds of the sale? If so, what was the “amount to be notified” and how was it communicated to potential buyers? »
He added: “Members of the public are likely to ask how come these questions remain unanswered given the attention the foundation has received in recent months.”
In response to questions from The Independent, PRH declined to disclose whether or not it contributed funds to the Captain Tom Foundation, or Club Nook Ltd, from the sale of the three books. With reference to The Independent‘s, a spokesperson for PRH said that “many of them concerned confidential details relating to contracts, which of course, legally, we are not free to divulge”. They added that “we can categorically assure you that we have not acted in any way in breach of the Charities Act”.
The Captain Tom Foundation initially declined to comment. However, a spokesperson later said: “The Captain Tom Foundation confirms that it has received donations from Penguin for all badged books as providing a charitable donation of £1 for each sale.”
The hardback version of A hundred reasons to hope displays such a badge on its cover. However, copies of Tomorrow will be a good day, Hundred steps and Captain Tom’s Life Lessons seen by The Independent do not wear the same badge or specify that a donation will be made to the Captain Tom Foundation from sales. Asked if the foundation said it received any donations from Penguin on the sale of these three books, the spokesperson said: “We will not comment further.”
In a statement, Hannah Ingram-Moore said: “I can confirm that Club Nook has not benefited from the branded merchandise/memorabilia, that Club Nook has not been paid by the foundation for the use of its brands and that Club Nook’s revenue was generated from other activities.”
A spokesperson for Hannah and Colin Ingram-Moore did not respond to questions about whether Club Nook received revenue from Penguin Random House for all four books, or whether any of them were paid directly or indirectly by the publisher in connection with any of the publications.
The Charity Commission did not provide comments in response to questions about the books.