Cary Cooper, a patron of the National Bullying Helpline, resigned this morning at protest at the decision by Christine Pratt – its head – to go public on her allegations of bullying at 10 Downing Street.
I’ve just come off the phone from Mary O’Connor*, another patron, who has also just resigned within the last half an hour.
Ms O’Connor told me that confidentiality had been breached. “I can’t actually condone that,” she said.
She said she had joined the charity because of her long-held concerns about domestic violence and damaged children. “You can’t bring politics into that.”
“I can’t condone what has been said,” she said. “It takes people a long time to get the courage to come forward about this sort of thing, and then you get something like this which could throw them off course again. How many people this evening will say, ‘if I complain (to a helpline) someone will tell somebody?’ It will make people cautious.”
* O’Connor is also a Conservative councillor for Hillingdon
Ann Widdecombe, who is also a patron, may also be considering her position. Her chief of staff tells me that the Tory MP has “grave concerns” about the decision by Ms Pratt to go public.
“She’s waiting to speak to the charity…she has been trying to get hold of Christine Pratt all day because she wants to discuss the matter with her.”
Another patron has resigned, Sarah Cawood.