Portsmouth's Highbury College principal Stella Mbubaegbu insists: 'I'm not a flagrant spendthrift - none of this £150,000 bill was for personal gain'

THE principal of Highbury College has insisted she is not a ‘flagrant spend-thrift’ and none of a £150,000 spend on her corporate credit card was for personal gain.

Friday, 20th September 2019, 3:20 pm
Highbury College principal Stella Mbubaegbu CBE

Stella Mbubaegbu spent hundreds of pounds on luxury headphones, first class flights abroad and more than £350 on a leaving dinner for four people at a Michelin-starred restaurant. The News published details of her credit card spend between 2014-2018 today after FEWeek obtained the data in a year-long freedom of information battle. This newspaper asked the college about the expenditure but the institution refused to detail why stays at high-end hotels and the purchase of first-class flights abroad were allowed. She insisted she has not ‘hidden anything’ from the board of governors, and a ‘sizeable amount’ of expenses was reimbursed to the college through funding or grants. The News asked on Wednesday if any expenses had been reimbursed but the college declined to answer.

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Highbury College principal Stella Mbubaegbu CBE

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The principal added: ‘The expenses referred to in the article were approved and authorised correctly and are also subject to independent audit in accordance with college procedures. ‘A sizeable amount of the expenses was reimbursed to the college through grants or other funding and indeed some of the expenses were to cover travel and CPD events for other staff, but paid from the Principal’s budget. I have not hidden anything from the Highbury board or the regulators and it is unfortunate and unfair that this story suggests otherwise.’