Barnardo's criticised for paying Made in Chelsea star £3k to promote retail arm

Children's charity Barnardo's has come under heavy criticism for its decision to pay Made in Chelsea star Alexandra (Binky) Felstead £3000 to promote its retail arm on Instagram.

The backlash follows a report by The Sun newspaper which claimed the reality TV star was paid £20,000 to work for the charity. However Banardo's denied this and stood by its decision to pay out the £3000 fee.

In a statement posted on the charity's website, it said that the campaign was a way of "testing the impact of a popular celebrity" in a bid to appeal to a wider audience.

“This is the first time we had agreed to pay a celebrity for a retail campaign," read the statement. "We have had to postpone some previous retail campaigns as we have been unable to secure the right celebrity backing. This was a way of testing the impact of a popular celebrity in order to appeal to a new, wider audience. This was not a decision we took lightly.

“Barnardo's retail shops are part of the charity's trading arm and as such operate in a commercial environment. We are soon to launch a new campaign to encourage much needed donations to our shops."

Barnardo's said it "took a business decision" to work with Felstead using retail profits to pay the fee and added that it expects the campaign to increase retail stock "significantly".

In a Twitter post Felstead said she was "horrified" at the claims made by The Sun and said she "always intended" to donate her fee to charity.