The board said the allegations came as a surprise and were the first official complaints they had received on the matter. The Third Sector publication reports that the allegations against Alexander include that he “repeatedly displayed aggressive language and behavior, including yelling at staff.”
It also reports that Deshmukh raised concerns with the board of directors in August that “around 10 staff members had experienced similar aggressive and intimidating behavior” and that sources claim the charity had limited the number of employees in contact with Alexander to avoid further complaints.
The board’s lack of action on the issue made Deshmukh’s position “untenable,” Third Sector reports.
Alexander was a Labor MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South from 1997 to 2015 and held various ministerial posts under Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, as well as in the shadow cabinet of Ed Miliband. He lost his seat in the 2015 general election.
Unicef UK denies that Deshmukh’s resignation is linked to the bullying allegations against Alexander and said it failed to acknowledge allegations that he failed to properly investigate the complaints.
A spokesperson for Unicef UK said: “These allegations come as a surprise to the board, as no formal complaint has ever been received regarding any of these issues.
“However, as you would expect, we take this very seriously and a full internal review was launched today – carried out by two directors and one outside advisor – and they will report to the board as soon as possible.
“It would be wrong to discuss this further while the investigation is ongoing. Douglas Alexander continues to have the support of the Board of Trustees, who will continue their crucial work for children during this time while the review takes place.
Deshmukh started his role at Unicef in April, after stepping down as managing director of Smart Energy GB, the government-backed campaign to deploy smart energy meters across the country. He was also chairman of the War Child UK charity for six years.
The Unicef UK board of directors has said Deshmukh will remain in office until the new interim leadership is announced and the search for a new executive director begins immediately.
“In the meantime, the board has every confidence in the strengths of the existing management team and the dedicated staff as a whole, to move the charity forward at this crucial time with its work focused on improvement.” of the lives of the world’s children, ”the council said in a statement.