Oxfam sex scandal prompts 'disappointed' Tutu to step down as ambassador


The organisation's chief executive has quit and actress Minnie Driver has quit her ambassador role, while UK International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt is to meet with the National Crime Agency over the matter today after warnings that funding could be withdrawn.

The report to us stated there had been no allegations, or evidence, of any abuse of beneficiaries. We want procedures to change.

Mr Tutu, a Nobel Peace Prize victor for his opposition to South Africa's brutal apartheid regime, is not the first Oxfam ambassador to quit over the scandal.

It comes as Catholic charity CAFOD also sacked a former Oxfam employee on Wednesday. "The dismissal was not related to sexual misconduct and was not connected to the case in 2011, however, there were allegations of inappropriate behaviour".

When abuse is carried out "by people in positions of power, people we entrust to help and protect, it rightly sickens and disgusts and compels us to take action", she said.

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Two years before Van Hauwermeiren joined Oxfam he left the British charity Merlin amid accusations that he had used prostitutes in Liberia in 2004.

Mordaunt called the Haiti prostitution allegations "horrifying".

Last week, the British newspaper The Times reported that in 2011 Oxfam tried to cover up claims that a guesthouse was used as a "whorehouse" by male aid workers in Haiti, which had been devastated the previous year by an quake that killed 220,000 people and left 1.5 million homeless.

In his first public response to last week's accusations of sex parties during his time running the charity's operations in Haiti after the 2010 quake, Roland Van Hauwermeiren was quoted as also telling De Standaard reporters who called at his apartment on the Belgian coast that his family had cut him off.

In the wake of the latest revelations, over 1,200 Oxfam contributors canceled their donations on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

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When she saw an initial report about Van Hauwermeiren in The Times newspaper last week, she remembered thinking: "Oh my God, he's been doing this for 14 years".

He was dismissed yesterday after Oxfam confirmed claims that he was among its former staff members who had been accused of sexual misconduct.

"They let perpetrators go". They did not inform donors, their regulator or prosecuting authorities.

The NCA has been "closely monitoring" allegations of overseas abuse and has said it has a range of powers to investigate certain sexual offences committed outside the UK.

Several sponsors and partners of Oxfam including Visa and the retail chain Marks and Spencer have also said they are examining the situation.

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