Charity embroiled in Palace race row reprimanded by Commission

Ngozi Fulani avoids Harry and Meghan probe amid royal race row

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The Charity Commission has offered advice to Sistah Space over issues relating to a “conflict of interest” concerning its governance. Sistah Space is a charity that supports women and families affected by domestic abuse. However, it became embroiled in a Royal scandal, after its founder, Ngozi Fulani, said she felt she had been “interrogated” by a former lady-in-waiting to the late monarch at a recent Buckingham Palace reception hosted by the Queen Consort.

Following the incident, a number of allegations about the running of the charity were posted to social media channels.

This prompted the charity watchdog to carry out its own investigations earlier this week.

After examining the claims, the Charity Commission said on Friday said it was now writing to the trustees of Sistah Space to offer “advice and guidance”.

The advice includes “managing any conflict of interest”.

The charity has struggled to come to terms with a rapid expansion of its services over the last few years.

It has seen a boom in its income which has risen by over £300,000 since 2019.

Staffing problems caused by the pandemic have led to “some issues” with it accounts, the charity admitted.

In a potential conflict of interest, the accounts for two years until 2020 were signed off by an independent examiner, who also worked for the charity as a volunteer.

Moreover, last year’s accounts were filed more than two months late.

A Charity Commission spokesman said: “We have carefully reviewed and assessed concerns raised about Sistah Space, and, as a result, have written to the trustees to provide regulatory advice and guidance that will help them in the running of their charity.

“This includes advice around how to prepare annual accounts, and the importance of filing these on time, as well as around managing any conflict of interest.

“We will assess any further concerns that are raised with us about this, or any charity.”

In a statement Sistah Space said: “In our March 2021 trustee report to the Charity Commission, we were open and transparent about the staffing problems we have faced since the start of the pandemic, which led to some issues with the reporting of our accounts, but we have since engaged an independent accounting firm with the aim that won’t happen again.

“While we will of course co-operate with any inquiries from the Charity Commission and anybody we have received grants from which have allowed us to help so many women and children who have endured unspeakable torment, we would like to be able to get back to focusing on supporting domestic abuse survivors.”

Ms Fulani has suffered vitriolic abuse on social media after posting a transcript of her conversation with Lady Susan Hussey at the Palace reception.

The backlash has been so severe that the charity has had to close a shop and drop-in-centre due to safety fears.

The 83-year-old godmother to Prince William had asked what part of Africa Ms Fulani was from, despite the charity founder explaining that she worked in London and had been born in the UK.

Ms Fulani felt that she had been “interrogated” at the reception hosted by the Queen Consort last month for those working to tackle domestic abuse.

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Lady Hussey later stood down from her honorary palace role, while a spokesman for Prince William stressed that “racism has no place in our society”.

On Friday, Lady Hussey and Ms Fulani met again at Buckingham Place for a clear-the-air meeting.

The former lady-in-waiting offered her “sincere apologies for the comments… and the distress they caused”, Palace officials said.

A statement said Ms Fulani had accepted the apology and recognised the comments had not been malicious.

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