Long-standing British Psychological Society trustee quits citing governance and spending concerns

A long-standing trustee and former president of the British Psychological Society has resigned citing concerns about governance, spending and transparency.

The BPS is the charity that acts as the representative body for psychology and psychologists in the UK. It is responsible for the promotion of excellence and ethical practice in the science, education, and application of the discipline.

David Murphy, who was president of the charity in 2019/20, said on Twitter last night that he had stepped down, having been involved with the charity in a number of roles over the past 20 years.

The charity thanked Murphy for his services but said that its board of trustees sometimes had to make difficult decisions that not all individual trustees agreed with.

In a statement, the BPS said: “At all times we are guided by the principle of collective responsibility where there has been a decision or a course of action agreed by the majority of trustees.”

Murphy’s resignation comes as the charity’s chief executive, Sarb Bajwa, is on “extended leave”, according to the charity, and its director of finance and resources, Harnish Hadani, resigned in December to start a new role.

Diane Ashby, deputy chief executive of the BPS, is filling in for Bajwa in his absence.

The charity said it was being supported by a finance specialist and would look to fill the vacant finance role shortly.

In addition, Leicestershire Police is carrying out an investigation into an allegation of fraud at the charity involving a former staff member.

The charity confirmed it had reported the incident to the police last year following an internal investigation.

“We understand that a former member of staff has been arrested and released on bail," it said in a statement.

“We are not able to comment further as this is now a police matter, except to make clear that it does not involve any other staff.”

Leicestershire Police said in a statement: “The allegation is in relation to the fraudulent use of a credit card.

“A woman, of Leicester, has been arrested on suspicion of fraud by abuse of position.

“She has since been released under investigation. Enquiries remain ongoing.”

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