Three senior leaders at Amnesty International UK have stepped down with immediate effect.
The departures of chair Eilidh Douglas, vice chair Sharon Lovell and chair of the HR subcommittee Sue Jex come as the charity tackles a racism row within its organisation.
Their departures this week also follow the early departure of AIUK’s director Kate Allen in March. She had planned to leave in September but left four months early.
Allegations of racism from ex-staffers were reported in the media earlier this year and a report into racism globally within Amnesty International also contained allegations of racism within its organisation This included accounts of “overt racism” and examples of the “N word” being used by senior staff.
Douglas, Lovell and Jex notified the AIUK section board of their “personal decision to step down”, according to a statement from AIUK.
The results of elections to the charity’s section board will be made at AIUK’s AGM on 19 June.
The charity’s statement adds: “The Board looks forward to welcoming its new members following their election. The Board will also seek to use its powers to make appointments of additional directors with anti-racism, change management, organisational design and workplace culture experience and expertise as part of its renewal.
“The newly refreshed Board will appoint a permanent Chair and Vice-Chair at its next meeting. The current Vice Chair, Sen Raj will lead relevant Section Board activities for the interim period.
“The Section Board would like to thank Eilidh, Sharon and Sue for their outstanding commitment and service to human rights. All three remain committed activists and we are grateful for their years of service on the board and in the field.”
Among charity leaders to comment on the trio’s departure is Stonewall UK head of policy Keiran Aldred. He said that “solidarity is leading to culture change” in tackling institutional racism.
HUGE NEWS!— Kieran Aldred (@thekieranaldred) June 8, 2021
In response to our article, the solidarity of the @AmnestyUK Union & campaigning of Amnesty International activists, the Chair, VC & HR lead of the Board have stood down
With upcoming AGM resolutions on #institutionalracism, solidarity is leading to culture change pic.twitter.com/fsI8ghRBib