Allegations Murray Edwards President involved in Oxfam scandal

Caithlin Ng 9 February 2018


President of Murray Edwards Dame Barbara Stocking is facing allegations that she was involved in the cover up of a recent Oxfam scandal, in which prostitutes were hired by aid workers in Haiti.

The Times reported that members of Oxfam, one of the UK’s biggest charities, had used prostitutes in Haiti sometime in 2011. The aid workers were there to provide relief after the 2010 Haiti earthquake. The scandal has resulted in four members of staff being dismissed and three being allowed to resign. One includes country director Roland Van Hauwermeiren, who allegedly used prostitutes in a villa rented for him by Oxfam.

The implicated aid workers are also accused of bullying and intimidation of Haitians.

While Oxfam acknowledged at the time of the staff dismissals that there had been a serious breach of its code of conduct, it reportedly failed to specify sexual misconduct. Oxfam has, however, claimed it did in fact disclose this to the charities regulator.

Stocking was chief executive of Oxfam when the allegations emerged in 2011, during which she said, “Oxfam never tolerates misconduct by our aid workers. We will take forceful and immediate action pending the outcome of the investigation."

An email from Murray Edwards' Senior Tutor to College members stated: "You may be aware that the President has been featured in the news today, about an incident that occurred in Haiti while she was CEO of Oxfam GB. Some of the media coverage is rather unpleasant, accusing the President and Oxfam of 'covering-up' sexual misconduct.

"We would like to assure you that the College believes these allegations to be untrue, has full confidence that the matter was dealt with appropriately at the time, and the President has the College's full support."