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Charity regulator chair steps down after just one week

This news post is almost 2 years old

He resigned after it was revealed he was the subject of three misconduct complaints

Martin Thomas has been force to resign as chairman of the Charity Commission just one week after his appointment was announced.

He stepped down after it emerged he was the subject of three formal misconduct complaints at the charity Women for Women International UK.

This included an incident in 2018 when he sent a picture of himself in a Victoria’s Secret store to a female employee.

He resigned as chairman of that charity in May following an investigation into alleged bullying concluded that he had behaved inappropriately towards a different employee.

Women for Women filed a “serious incident report” on the case to the Charity Commission identifying its chairman as the subject of the allegations.

It is believed that MPs on the culture select committee, who approved Thomas’s appointment, were unaware of the previous disciplinary issues.

A Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport spokesperson said: “We accept the resignation of Martin Thomas as chair of the Charity Commission. Martin has acknowledged his error of judgment during the application process and we acknowledge that he entered the process in good faith, without looking to mislead.”

Thomas, whose three-year tenure at the Charity Commission was due to start on 27 December, has more than 20 years’ experience in the insurance and financial services sectors. The role was for two and a half days a week with an annual salary of £62,500.

In a statement, he blamed “an error of judgment on a technical omission during the application process” and insisted he “did not wilfully mislead anyone at any time”.

Thomas said: “Regretfully I have decided to step aside from the role as chair of the Charity Commission.

“I have never deliberately set out to offend anyone and my passion to improve the sector is born out of a desire to do public good.”

Women for Women said: “The investigation concluded that the chair’s actions were not deliberate bullying but that the complaint was partly upheld insofar as aspects of the chair’s conduct were judged to have been inappropriate. In view of this, the board concluded that it would be appropriate to ask that he step down as chair with immediate effect.”



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