Fresh from her High Court success in fighting the threat of disqualification, Camila Batmanghelidjh was interviewed by Woman’s Hour presenter Emma Barnett on the popular BBC Radio 4 programme last week.
In the course of an extensive interview during which Barnett deployed her usual ‘no holds barred’ approach, Batmanghelidjh was keen to emphasise the debt she owed to the Leverets team, led by Rupert Butler, which had acted so successfully for her.
Emphasising that the victory was not just for herself but for the reputation of Kids Company, its staff and its clients, Batmanghelidjh said that she was fortunate in having “Great lawyers” in Leverets who were “Really brilliant” before adding, “I have been shown so much kindness by my supporters.”
In probing who was behind the campaign against her Batmanghelidjh pointed the finger specifically at the BBC TV’s Newsnight programme – ironically the programme which Barnett herself had been working for until very recently. “Newsnight says it stands by their journalism,” commented Barnett.
At the Whitehall level, meanwhile, Batmanghelidjh thought that she had been the victim of an internal campaign against David Cameron by Dominic Cummings and Michael Gove (whom she accused of being ‘disingenuous’). “I underestimated other people’s envy,” she said.
Underlying all this, says Batmanghelidjh. is the failure of ‘the State’ to protect vulnerable young people. Kids Company had been set up, she said, to fill the gap left by social services.
To hear the interview in full go to BBC Radio 4 – Woman’s Hour, Camila Batmanghelidjh