Charity Commission opens case into Unicef UK after top-level resignations

It follows the charity's executive director, chair and one of its vice-chairs stepping down after Sacha Deshmukh made allegations of bullying against Douglas Alexander, which he denies

The Charity Commission has opened a case into Unicef UK after its executive director, chair and one of its vice-chairs resigned in swift succession amid a bullying row.

Sacha Deshmukh, executive director of Unicef UK, resigned last Tuesday after alleging that he had suffered bullying and aggressive behaviour from chair Douglas Alexander. 

Alexander, who denied the allegations and said he was surprised by them, stepped down on Thursday to allow an inquiry into the events to take place

Caroline Underwood, one the charity’s vice-chairs, resigned on the same day. 

Third Sector then revealed over the weekend that Deshmukh sent a letter to Shatish Dasani, who was appointed last week as the charity’s interim chair, accusing the board of making inaccurate statements since his resignation. 

Deshmukh said it was incorrect to say the board was surprised by concerns around Alexander’s behaviour because he had discussed them with at least one Unicef UK trustee and the three of them had discussed the issues in a meeting earlier this month. 

A commission spokesperson told Third Sector today it was looking into concerns reported to it about Unicef UK, including by the charity itself through a serious incident report. 

The spokesperson said the regulator could not comment further at this time. 

A Unicef UK spokesperson said the charity had "reported in line with the Charity Commission’s standard requirements".

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