‘I have set up a charity’, insists former Persimmon boss Jeff Fairburn (but he won’t say how much of his £82m bonus he’s given away)
The former Persimmon boss ousted over his ‘obscene’ £82m bonus yesterday claimed to have set up a charitable trust – but kept its activities shrouded in secrecy.
Two years ago, in the face of public outcry over the taxpayer support given to the housebuilder that had triggered the bonus, Jeff Fairburn, 53, pledged to give away a ‘substantial’ portion of his huge payout.
He was later forced out of Persimmon and has said nothing in public since then about giving money to good causes.
Jeff Fairburn, 53, pledged to give away a ‘substantial’ portion of his £82m bonus two years ago in the face of a public outcry over taxpayer support given to his company
But following reports he had yet to set up a charitable trust, the Yorkshire businessman (pictured) yesterday broke his silence to insist that he had actually done so in 2018.
However, he refused to reveal how much he donated, what its activities are or even what it is called.
The Charity Commission, which regulates charities in England and Wales, says no such organisation has been set up in the businessman’s name.
The revelation emerged as Fairburn was unveiled as the new chief executive of Wetherby-based Berkeley DeVeer, a luxury home builder in which he has bought a 50pc stake. The amount paid by Fairburn was not disclosed.
Fairburn said he was honoured to take the role and looked forward to maintaining the firm’s reputation as a ‘first class, quality housebuilder’.
But the appointment has raised eyebrows, coming just weeks after a damning independent report criticised Persimmon for shoddy workmanship while under Fairburn’s leadership.
Last night Fairburn’s spokesman insisted his trust sat outside the Charity Commission’s jurisdiction and did not need to register. He repeatedly refused to provide any further details, saying: ‘It is a private matter.’