Save the Children International chair Sir Alan Parker has resigned following ten years in the role.
Parker, 62, had been due to finish his term in December but stepped down last night, citing a “complex mix of challenges the organisation and the sector is facing” as the reason for his early departure. He has also resigned from the boards of the Save the Children Association.
The former PR mogul said that the decision to resign was his own, but The Times notes that the move “came a fortnight after news that the Charity Commission had opened a statutory inquiry into the handling of complaints of sexual harassment of staff by directors at the charity’s British arm”.
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During Parker’s time as head of the charity, Save the Children UK was forced to confront what he called “unacceptable workplace behaviour, involving harassment, in our head office in Farringdon in 2012 and 2015” - a reference to complaints of misconduct made against former Save the Children CEO Justin Forsyth and policy director Brendan Cox, the husband of murdered Labour MP Jo Cox.
The Daily Mail says that Parker “intervened personally to address accusations against the two men” and allowing them to leave “discreetly”, overriding the charity’s human resources policies.
A leaked report from 2015 also suggested that Parker’s “very close” relationship with Forsyth may have affected how he responded to the complaints.
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