Charity apologises after former boss admits to ‘inappropriate’ behaviour with women colleagues
International charity Save the Children has apologised to three women who complained of inappropriate behaviour by the charity’s former chief executive, Justin Forsyth.
According to the BBC, Forsyth has been accused of sending inappropriate texts and commenting on what young female staff were wearing. He has since become deputy executive director of Unicef in New York.
Save the Children confirmed that Forsyth was twice subject to investigation in 2011 and again in 2015. On each occasion, Forsyth issued an “unreserved apology” to the women concerned and the matter was considered to be closed.
However, concerns were raised with the trustees that “matters should not have been left as they were” and a further review was required, the charity said, adding: Following this, a review found that human resources process “had not been followed in every aspect.”.
Forsyth has since apologized stating: “I made some personal mistakes during my time at Save the Children. I recognise that on a few occasions I had unsuitable and thoughtless conversations with colleagues, which I now know caused offence and hurt. When this was brought to my attention on two separate occasions, I apologised unreservedly to the three colleagues involved…”
A spokesman for Save the Children has stated: “The review will commence by the end of this week and report in June 2018. We apologize for any pain these matters have caused and sincerely hope that the complainants feel able to help us with the review in the coming weeks. This is so that we can better support our skilled and highly valued staff as they help change the lives of millions of children around the world every day.”
Unicef told CNN that it was aware of the past complaints against Forsyth, adding: “We welcome Mr Forsyth’s decision to come forward and acknowledge past mistakes. We are discussing this matter with Mr Forsyth and his former employer so we can take appropriate action.”
The disclosure comes after Brendan Cox, the widower of murdered MP Jo Cox, admitted that he made “mistakes” and behaved in a way that caused some women “hurt and offence” when he was working at Save the Children.
Cox and Forsyth had previously worked together at 10 Downing Street under Gordon Brown.