Ox­fam chief quits over sex scan­dal

Huddersfield Daily Examiner - - FRONT PAGE -

wider im­pli­ca­tions for the rail fran­chis­ing sys­tem.

Lil­ian Green­wood, chair of the Com­mit­tee, said: “This fail­ure has drawn crit­i­cism from all cor­ners. Les­sons need to be learned.” ESME WREN has be­come the sec­ond fe­male ed­i­tor of Newsnight in the BBC show’s 38-year his­tory.

Cur­rently the head of pol­i­tics, busi­ness and spe­cial­ist jour­nal­ism at Sky News, she will re­place Ian Katz, who left the BBC in Novem­ber 2017.

The only other woman to serve as ed­i­tor of the flag­ship news pro­gramme was Sian Kevill, who held the role from 1998 to 2002. Wren said: “It is a great hon­our and priv­i­lege to be re­turn­ing to Newsnight to lead this ex­cep­tional team.” WORK is un­der way to re­move a 500kg Ger­man Sec­ond World War bomb which has led to the can­cel­la­tion of more than 100 flights and caused homes to be evac­u­ated.

Metropoli­tan Po­lice and Royal Navy ex­perts will try to float the 1.5 me­tre un­ex­ploded shell from its rest­ing place in King Ge­orge V Dock, east Lon­don. And a coun­cil is go­ing door-to-door try­ing to per­suade lo­cal res­i­dents to evac­u­ate their homes un­til the bomb is moved, but is fac­ing some re­sis­tance.

The dis­cov­ery of the bomb caused the sus­pen­sion of flights out of the nearby Lon­don City Air­port, with OX­FAM’S deputy chief ex­ec­u­tive has quit in the wake of the aid worker sex scan­dal, say­ing she was “ashamed” of what had hap­pened.

Penny Lawrence said she took full re­spon­si­bil­ity for what had hap­pened on her watch and was sorry for the “harm and dis­tress” it had caused sup­port­ers.

Ox­fam has faced in­tense crit­i­cism over its han­dling of sex al­le­ga­tions, in­clud­ing the use of pros­ti­tutes by work­ers in Haiti in 2011.

Ms Lawrence said: “As pro­gramme di­rec­tor at the time, I am ashamed that this hap­pened on my watch and I take full re­spon­si­bil­ity.”

The res­ig­na­tion comes af­ter claims yes­ter­day the char­ity was aware of con­cerns about the con­duct of two of the men at the cen­tre of the al­le­ga­tions in Haiti when they worked pre­vi­ously in Chad.

Ms Lawrence said: “Over the last few days we have be­come aware that con­cerns were raised about the be­hav­iour of staff in Chad as well as Haiti that we failed to ad­e­quately act upon. It is now clear that th­ese al­le­ga­tions – in­volv­ing the use of pros­ti­tutes and which re­lated to be­hav­iour more than 100 de­par­tures can­celled yes­ter­day.

Among thou­sands of pas­sen­gers af­fected were Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur fans head­ing to Italy for a Cham­pi­ons League game against Ju­ven­tus.

The north Lon­don foot­ball club ad­vised any fans fly­ing to Mi­lan to “con­tact their of both the coun­try di­rec­tor and mem­bers of his team in Chad – were raised be­fore he moved to Haiti.”

She added: “I am des­per­ately sorry for the harm and dis­tress that this has caused to Ox­fam’s sup­port­ers, the wider devel­op­ment sec­tor and most of all the vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple who trusted us.”

Ox­fam chiefs were called in for cri­sis talks with In­ter­na­tional Devel­op­ment Sec­re­tary Penny Mor­daunt fol­low­ing the claims of sex­ual mis­con­duct by its staff.

Ms Mor­daunt said on Sun­day the char­ity had lied and failed in its “moral lead­er­ship” air­line as soon as pos­si­ble”, ahead of tonight’s match in Turin.

Ne­wham Coun­cil said it was likely that all res­i­dents in the 214-me­tre ex­clu­sion zone will need to be evac­u­ated be­fore re­moval work starts.

Once work has be­gun, the ex­clu­sion zone could then be ex­tended. by fail­ing to fully dis­close de­tails of its in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the mis­con­duct to rel­e­vant author­i­ties.

The char­ity re­ceived £31.7 mil­lion in Gov­ern­ment fund­ing in 2016/17, but the sup­port has been put at risk by the scan­dal.

Char­ity Com­mis­sion di­rec­tor of in­ves­ti­ga­tions Michelle Rus­sell said the watch­dog was not told the full story at the time Ox­fam first in­ves­ti­gated al­le­ga­tions of mis­con­duct in 2011.

She told BBC Ra­dio 4’s To­day pro­gramme: “We’ve made very clear that had the de­tails of what has come out over the last few days been told to us, we would have dealt with this very dif­fer­ently.

“We were cat­e­gor­i­cally told there was no abuse of ben­e­fi­cia­ries in­volved in the al­le­ga­tions.”

Four mem­bers of Ox­fam staff were dis­missed and three, in­clud­ing the coun­try di­rec­tor, Roland van Hauw­er­meiren, re­signed be­fore the end of the 2011 in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Ox­fam chief ex­ec­u­tive Mark Goldring said: “I deeply re­spect Penny’s de­ci­sion to ac­cept per­sonal re­spon­si­bil­ity. Like us, she is ap­palled at what hap­pened.”

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