We have heard today that Defence Secretary Liam Fox has resigned while an inquiry is being carried out into his conduct.
Allegra Stratton of the Guardian writes:
Fox is said to have crumpled under the weight of this week’s revelations and the prospect of another weekend of speculation. He could not hold out until the inquiry into his behaviour wound up officially – expected to be at some point next week. The prime minister had always held out the right to exercise his own judgement and keep Fox in his post even if O’Donnell’s report had been critical, but the defence secretary decided to short-circuit the process and limit the personal and political damage.
AVOW is currently carrying out an internal investigation into the findings of the Employment Tribunal. These findings roundly condemn John Gallanders’ ‘reprehensible’ behaviour, fraud, victimisation of his employee, direct discrimination, abuse of his position and the fact that he usurped the role of the Trustees and took their decisions for them. Taking a look at the AVOW Employee Handbook, it is clear that John Gallanders is guilty of gross misconduct on several counts, even one of which can result in instant dismissal. Yet he is still in his post of Chief Officer. Most of the Trustees directly implicated by the findings, including the Chair and Vice-Chair, are also still on the AVOW Board.
There are many questions to be asked about this, not least why the various funding bodies and regulatory authorities seem content, in spite of the uncontested Employment Tribunal findings of fact, to allow AVOW to carry on business as usual with the same Trustees and the same Chief Officer pending this internal investigation. No doubt they will also be happy to wait even longer once this inquiry has reported and a further, external, investigation is announced. Never mind that AVOW has been run by a corrupt Chief Officer for years and continues to be run by him, with his incompetent Trustees merely deferring to his decisions. Is corruption in publicly funded bodies really so commonplace that no one bats an eyelid about it any more?
Nevertheless, the pressure must be building on John Gallanders. Even if his Trustees blindly follow wherever he leads and the bodies which should be overseeing AVOW’s work are merely standing by, it is obvious that the credibility of the organisation is compromised and John Gallanders’ position increasingly untenable.
Maybe it won’t be long before John Gallanders follows Liam Fox’s example and steps down. Maybe he’ll take some Trustees with him. Watch this space.