Ex-Save the Children boss Justin Forsyth resigns from Unicef after allegations of inappropriate behaviour

Justin Forsyth says he came to the decision with 'a heavy heart' 

Tom Batchelor
Thursday 22 February 2018 18:16
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Justin Forsyth during his time as chief executive of Save the Children
Justin Forsyth during his time as chief executive of Save the Children

A former chief executive of Save the Children has resigned from his role at Unicef following allegations of inappropriate behaviour.

Justin Forsyth said he was stepping down "with heavy heart", not because of his past mistakes, but "because of the danger of damaging both Unicef and Save the Children".

He has previously admitted making "some personal mistakes" during his time at Save the Children.

Mr Forsyth was twice subject to investigation at the charity after concerns were raised about his conduct in 2011 and again in 2015 involving three women. It has since apologised to the female employees and admitted their claims were not properly dealt with at the time.

Announcing his resignation, Mr Forsyth said in a statement: "With heavy heart, I am today tendering my resignation to Unicef as Deputy Executive Director. I want to make clear I am not resigning from Unicef because of the mistakes I made at Save the Children.

"They were dealt with through a proper process many years ago. I apologised unreservedly at the time and face to face. I apologise again."

He added: "There is no doubt in my mind that some of the coverage around me is not just to (rightly) hold me to account, but also to attempt to do serious damage to our cause and the case for aid. I am resigning because of the danger of damaging both Unicef and Save the Children and our wider cause.

"Two organisations I truly love and cherish. I can't let this happen."

The disclosures came 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.

Both Mr Cox and Mr Forsyth had previously worked together at 10 Downing Street under Gordon Brown.

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