Regulator launches Save the Children probe

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Justin Forsyth 

Formal investigation now underway 

11th April 2018 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Investigators at the Charity Commission have launched a formal inquiry into Save the Children’s handling of historic sex abuse allegations.

A formal investigation is the most serious form of engagement with the regulator. The commission said it had been prompted by “concerns about the charity’s handling, reporting and response to serious allegations of misconduct and harassment against senior staff members in 2012 and 2015.”

Justin Forsyth, Save the children’s former chief executive, and Brendan Cox, the former policy director and widower of the MP Jo Cox, left the charity in 2015 following allegations of misconduct.

Forsyth went on to a senior role at Unicef. He resigned in February after the reports of inappropriate behaviour emerged. Cox also resigned from the charities More in Common and the Jo Cox Foundation, set up in the aftermath of his wife’s murder.

Save the Children’s current chief executive, Kevin Watkins, announced a review of the charity’s organisational culture earlier this year, including measures to preserve staff safety.

Michelle Russell, director of investigations and enforcement at the Charity Commission said: "This inquiry centres specifically on how the charity handled complaints in 2012 and 2015 about senior members of staff, and how the charity responded to and managed public and media scrutiny of those events in 2018.

"We have questions that must be answered, and we need to hold the charity formally accountable for providing them in a clear and timely manner.”