Brendan Cox [Image from Twitter].

Brendan Cox, widower of the murdered Labour MP Jo, has stepped down as a trustee of the charity set up in her name after sexual misconduct allegations were levelled against him.

They relate to his behaviour at the charity Save the Children in 2015, and his words suggest that he accepts there may be some truth to them.

He tweeted:

The thing is, if he took responsibility for his actions, he would have been better-advised to have considered their likely effect – not now, but in the immediate aftermath of his wife’s death.

It is inappropriate for a person who is responsible for sexual misconduct to take a prominent role in an organisation where he is seen to assume the moral high ground.

It would have been better for him to step back and allow another relative to take the lead. Nobody would have blamed a grieving husband for doing so.

Now, he has opened up both himself and the Jo Cox Foundation to possible accusations from those who have an opportunity to score political points from today’s revelation.

Personally, I don’t doubt that the charity is blameless – there is nothing false about it and there is no reason to believe that Mr Cox acted wrongly as a trustee.

Another important question is whether anybody at the Jo Cox Foundation was aware of the claims against him. I have experience of this sort of situation.

Readers of This Site will be aware that I have been accused of anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial by certain national newspapers.

The accusations are false – but they could do reputational damage to a charity with which I am involved.

So I made sure I alerted other members of the organisation to the fact at the earliest opportunity. As a result, I have their unanimous support, and that is extremely welcome.

If Mr Cox didn’t make the Foundation aware that allegations against him could cause reputational damage, then that’s another mark against him.

We are left with a situation in which Mr Cox’s alleged behaviour – and his failure to be open about it to his fellow trustees – may cause serious harm to the Jo Cox Foundation and its work.

I certainly hope that can be avoided – but I know that political opportunists, especially those of the far right, have absolutely no conscience in such matters.


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