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Oxfam faces PS32million taxpayers' cash axe; Mordaunt threat as 120 workers aid charities accused of sex abuse.

Byline: ANDREW GREGORY Political Editor

OXFAM faces losing out on millions of pounds of taxpayers' cash, as the charity's boss admitted there had been a failure of "moral leadership".

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt blasted the alleged cover-up of aid workers' use of prostitutes.

If they hand It came as it emerged more than 120 workers for British charities were accused of sexual abuse in the past year alone.

Oxfam's chief Mark Goldring reportedly apologised over the scandal last night and admitted he could not rule out more revelations emerging.

He said: "I think there's no question that the people running the Haiti programme in 2011 failed in terms of moral leadership."

Ms Mordaunt, who will today meet the charity's bosses, said no organisation could be a government partner without "moral leadership to do the right thing".

And she told BBC1's Andrew Marr Show: "If they don't hand over all the information they have, I can't work with them any more." Her department gave Oxfam PS32million last year.

Mr Goldring insisted the charity had strengthened its whistleblowing and complaints protocols after 2011 but, according to the Daily Mail, he conceded that had not been enough.

And it emerged Oxfam did not tell agencies about accused staff taking new jobs. Haiti director Roland van Hauwermeiren quit in 2011 after using sex workers but then joined Action Against Hunger. Oxfam said it did not give positive references for those sacked.

Ms Mordaunt said the charity did "absolutely the wrong thing" by not reporting detail of allegations. It came after the Charity Commission said Oxfam told of a sexual misconduct probe but not potential involvement of minors. Oxfam said such claims are unproven.

It was also claimed yesterday women believed to be prostitutes visited Oxfam's team in Chad, Central Africa, in 2006.

And allegations against more than 120 charity workers fuelled fears of paedophiles targeting aid groups. The figures, from charities, cover sexual har-assment here and abroad.

Oxfam recorded 87 incidents last year, with 53 referred to police or other statutory authorities. A total 20 workers were dismissed.

Save the Children recorded 31 cases; 10 were referred. The charity said all 31 cases took place abroad and 16 people were dismissed. Christian Aid recorded two incidents, both overseas. One person was sacked, one disciplined.

British Red Cross admitted a "small number of cases of harassment reported in the UK", believed to be up to five. All the charities get cash from the Department for International Development. Ms Mordaunt's predecessor Priti Patel called the Oxfam claims the "tip of the iceberg".

She had not been aware of them, but had raised concerns to DfID about abuse in UN charities. Ms Patel, who quit last year, told BBC Radio 5 live: "This is well-documented.

"I have UN reports there are 120 cases involving something like 300 people."

It emerged Brendan Cox, widower of murdered MP Jo, was accused of groping a US government official in 2015, shortly after he left his Save the Children job.

Brendan Cox of groping The woman reported him to police in the US but they did not investigate the claims at her request, the Mail on Sunday said. Mr Cox did not respond to a request for comment, but his lawyers told MoS he denied the "spurious allegations".

andrew.gregory@mirror.co.uk

VOICE OF THE MIRROR: PAGE 8

If they don't hand over all their information I can't work with them PENNY MORDAUNT warns of axing funding Roland van Hauwermeiren, Oxfam's ex-Haiti director SHAMED

CAPTION(S):

CLAIMS Brendan Cox was accused of groping

QUESTIONS Ms Mordaunt

DEVASTATION Haiti, where aid workers were
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 12, 2018
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