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Save the Children won't bid for taxpayers' cash

By Greg Heffer, Political Reporter
Scandal-hit charity Save the Children says it is suspending bids for taxpayers' cash until it meets the "high standards" expected.
Chief executive Kevin Watkins has written to the Department for International Development (DfID) to reveal the charity will voluntarily withdraw from seeking new Government funding on a temporary basis.
Save the Children is currently subject to a statutory inquiry by the Charity Commission following a sexual harassment scandal.The investigation centres on claims that former bosses at the charity, including the widow of murdered MP Jo Cox, were subject to complaints by female employees.Last week Sir Alan Parker, the international chairman of Save the Children, quit his role amid the fallout from the allegations.The cases arose amid close scrutiny of the charity sector in the wake of accusations of sexual abuse at Oxfam, which has been suspended from bidding for DfID cash.
Save the Children won't bid for taxpayers' cash

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Sir Alan Parker quit as Save the Children's international chairman
In a letter to International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt, Mr Watkins said: "While I greatly regret both the circumstances that have brought us to this juncture and the consequences for children, I fully recognise our responsibility to meet the high standards that you rightly expect."I want to underscore how seriously we take the sexual harassment cases reported at our headquarters in 2012 and 2015."We are cooperating fully with the Charity Commission's inquiry to ensure that a complete and truthful account of these cases emerges."I speak for everyone at Save the Children when I say that we are absolutely committed to building back trust in our organisation - from the children and communities that we serve, to our donors and supporters and UK taxpayers."
Responding to the news, Ms Mordaunt said: "I am committed to driving up standards across the aid sector and I expect every organisation that we work with to have rigorous reporting and complaints mechanisms in place to protect beneficiaries and employees alike."Save the Children's current DfID-funded programmes will not be affected.In February, UNICEF deputy executive director Justin Forsyth quit the organisation after he admitted "some personal mistakes" towards three women in his previous role at Save the Children.Subsequently, a leaked report from 2015 suggested Sir Alan's "very close" relationship with Mr Forsyth may have affected how allegations were handled.
Save the Children won't bid for taxpayers' cash

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Brendan Cox admitted he 'made mistakes' at the charity
Meanwhile, Brendan Cox, who was Save the Children's chief strategist until 2015, admitted he "made mistakes" while at the charity which caused some women "hurt and offence".He quit two charities he set up in memory of his wife when allegations resurfaced earlier this year.Mr Cox and Mr Forsyth had previously worked together at 10 Downing Street under former prime minister Gordon Brown.
More from Oxfam

Save the Children international chairman Sir Alan Parker quits


Save the Children to be investigated over handling of misconduct allegations


Charity Commission receives 80 cases in wake of Oxfam sex scandal


Red Cross and Plan International admit cases of sexual misconduct


Oxfam GB suspended from working in Haiti amid sex scandal investigation


UNICEF chief Justin Forsyth resigns after 'inappropriate behaviour'

Following the Oxfam scandal, the Charity Commission received 532 reports of serious safeguarding incidents in February and March this year, compared with 1,210 throughout 2016/17.It has opened 440 new cases, with 219 incident reports relating to 33 charities funded by DfID.
news.sky.com
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