Marie Stopes chief received 100 per cent bonus after record-breaking year

The latest accounts show that the highest earner received a salary package of £434,500 after the charity helped more than 30 million people get access to contraception

The chief executive of Marie Stopes International doubled his basic salary last year after the charity had its biggest impact to date.

The charity's latest accounts, which cover the year to 31 December 2018, were filed with Companies House this week. They show that the highest earner at the charity – understood to be the chief executive Simon Cooke – received a total pay package of £434,500 during the year, comprising a basic salary of £217,250 and a performance-related bonus of the same amount.

The accounts show that the charity had a successful year, with income rising by £700,000 to £296.8m – a record total for the second year in a row. It also helped 30.2 million people get access to contraception over the course of the year and says in its accounts that it averted 12.3 million unintended pregnancies and 6.4 million unsafe abortions.

A statement from the charity said it was the charity’s "highest annual impact to date".

The accounts also show that staff numbers fell from 11,612 to 10,512 during the year.

Redundancies cost the charity £409,000, up from £320,000 the previous year.

Third Sector understands the loss of staff was mainly due to shifts in funding and programming that saw 100 of the charity’s clinics across the world close.

The charity has also been hit by the US government’s decision to re-implement the so-called global gag rule, which cuts funding for projects related to abortions and sexual health.

Marie Stopes has also focused more on training government healthcare providers across the world, which has led to fewer directly employed staff in some countries.

The amount that Cooke was paid in 2018 would put him in the top-10 highest earners in the charity sector, according to Third Sector’s annual charity pay study.

Asked to comment on the high earner’s pay and the fall in staff numbers, a spokeswoman for Marie Stopes International said in a statement: "Last year, more than 30 million women and men worldwide were using contraception provided by us and we averted an estimated 6.4 million unsafe abortions – our highest annual impact to date.

"The chief executive’s total remuneration package is set by the board of trustees, as part of their duty to ensure our organisation has the best leadership in place to deliver against ambitious targets."

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