Govt officials 'pushed back' aid abuse inquiry

By Aubrey Allegretti, Political Reporter
Senior officials at a Government department are facing questions over claims an investigation into sexual exploitation by UK aid workers was suppressed.
Priti Patel, who resigned as International Development Secretary in November, made the shock allegation amid revelations about Oxfam.The charity is accused of suppressing information about aid workers hosting sex parties with prostitutes during a 2010 mission to Haiti.Despite the claims arising publicly on Friday, Ms Patel said "a lot of people knew about this".She named the Charity Commission and her own former department.
Govt officials 'pushed back' aid abuse inquiry

DFID officials are facing questions over an investigation into aid workers
Ms Patel told Sky News: "A Government department should have been calling for prosecutions back then, asking for evidence and actually taking money back from Oxfam as far back to 2011."I did my own research and I have to say I had a lot of pushback within my own department."I pushed hard - I had pushback internally and that is the scandal. The scandal is within the industry, people know about this."
Govt officials 'pushed back' aid abuse inquiry

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The new International Development Secretary, Penny Mordaunt, has defended her department and claimed she first heard about the claims when they were made in The Times newspaper.She said: "In the 21st century, it is utterly despicable that sexual exploitation and abuse continues to exist in the aid sector."The horrific behaviour by some members of Oxfam staff in Haiti in 2011 is an example of a wider issue on which DFID is already taking action, both at home and with the international community via the UN."She added she was writing to all UK charities which receive UK aid asking them to spell out the steps they are taking to ensure safeguarding policies are in place and working properly.
More from Haiti

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"With regard to Oxfam and any other organisation that has safeguarding issues, we expect them to co-operate fully with such authorities, and we will cease to fund any organisation that does not."Ms Mordaunt replaced Ms Patel in November, when the latter was forced to resign over secret meetings she held with Israeli officials.
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