Ian Birrell

How politicians failed to learn from the charity sex abuse scandal

When Tamsyn Barton was summoned before MPs last month to be quizzed on her suitability to run the official aid watchdog, she was asked about priorities in the post. She insisted she planned ‘to build back public trust in the effectiveness of aid,’ admitting support for the government’s £13.4bn spending spree was waning. This rising concern is unsurprising given a tide of sex abuse scandals, furores over fat cat pay, disclosures of dodgy behaviour and endless exposure of appalling waste. Sadly the core problem is a government policy that shows contempt for the public.

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