Sookhdeo finally steps down from Barnabas Aid roles

Poverty relief charity Barnabas Aid International has now accepted the resignation of chief executive Patrick Sookhdeo, in the wake of criminal convictions earlier in the year

Patrick Sookhdeo has resigned from senior roles at the poverty relief charity Barnabas Aid International  because of "current circumstances".

A statement from the charity yesterday said that Sookhdeo, who founded the Barnabas Fund, the parent charity of Barnabas Aid International, had stood down from the roles of chief executive, international director and trustee of BAI.

A statement from the Barnabas Fund, which supports Christians around the world who face persecution or oppression, said that Sookhdeo had led the charity with "zeal, vision and integrity for 22 years".

It said: "We are immensely grieved that current circumstances oblige him to step down."

The statement does not specify the circumstances but Sookhdeo was convicted in February of one charge of sexual assault and two counts of intimidating a witness or juror.

A spokesman for the charity was unable to comment further.

The charity said that Hendrik Storm, chief operating officer at BAI, would become chief executive, with special projects adviser Allan Lee taking over as COO, while deputy international director Paul Mursalin becomes international director. The appointments have been made on an interim basis, but could be extended to full-time roles, the charity said.

After his conviction, Sookhdeo did tender his resignation from his roles at BAI  but it was rejected by the charity’s trustees.

The Charity Commission said in May that it would have serious regulatory concerns about allowing Sookhdeo to resume the positions.

A spokesman for the regulator said today it welcomed the fact that the trustees had now decided to accept Sookhdeo’s resignation.

"The commission had serious concerns regarding his reappointment to the board in June, about which we had been engaging with the trustees and had an open compliance case," he said.

"We will continue to monitor the situation closely and take further regulatory action if needs be."

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