Care4Calais founder Clare Moseley has announced she is leaving the refugee support charity a month after being named as its chair.
Moseley registered the charity in 2016 and was its chief executive until her replacement, Steve Smith, was appointed last month.
The Charity Commission has been investigating the charity’s governance arrangements since 2020. It appointed interim managers from Anthony Collins solicitors who have since been discharged.
Care4Calais described facing “a key person risk in respect of the charity’s founder and CEO” in its financial report for the year to September 2021, its most recently filed accounts with the regulator.
Moseley said in a statement: “After seven and a half years, I am leaving Care4Calais.
“When I first arrived in Calais I had no intention of setting up a charity; I could not have imagined one which now supports thousands of people seeking asylum in the UK as well as refugees in northern France.”
She thanked the charity’s volunteers, donors and refugee rights campaigners.
“I am now leaving Care4Calais to focus on campaigning for safe routes for refugees and I will be working alongside our incredible trade union partners to ensure safe passage becomes a reality,” she added.
Meanwhile, “the team at Care4Calais” said in another statement that “few people leave such a legacy” as Moseley.
However, Moseley leaves in disgrace, after it was revealed she made threatening comments to a volunteer and said she would potentially use pepper spray on refugees. It comes after a series of complaints from whistleblowers, with one claiming that there was a ‘culture of bullying’ at the organisation.
Separately, Care4Calais is already under investigation by the Charity Commission over regulatory issues.
Ms Moseley, 53, has been the charity’s figurehead since it was founded in 2015.
However, in May 2020, Care4Calais received a formal complaint from a volunteer who said Ms Moseley had threatened her ‘with physical violence’ while helping in the Calais camp.
The complaint said that, during a row about journalists photographing refugees, Ms Moseley shouted at the volunteer: ‘I will drag you out by your f***ing hair.’
Responding to the claims, Ms Moseley told MailOnline: ‘With regard to the volunteer who was threatened, this followed a period of issues with this volunteer. I acknowledge that the comment, made in the heat of the moment, was entirely inappropriate and I have apologised.’
Earlier in 2020, the charity also investigated accounts from two people about an occasion in Brussels when Ms Moseley allegedly used pepper spray during an incident while distributing goods to refugees.
Ms Moseley said that she used the spray in self-defence after threatening behaviour from someone else at the distribution site, documents show – a position supported by other witnesses.
She added: ‘With regard to the pepper spray incident this was in self defence as other witnesses have acknowledged, and at the time I was unaware of the different legal position in Belgium as compared to France – on becoming aware of it, I of course ceased to carry it in Belgium. ‘
Responding to accusations of bullying in the organisation, she said: ‘I can only say that, in a position of leadership of a young and fast growing organisation, I have been placed in many positions where I had to make difficult and high pressured decisions.
‘If I made mistakes or upset any of our volunteers, I am sorry for that. I have devoted the last seven and a half years to serving the charity as an unpaid volunteer working long hours to do everything in my power to help and advocate for refugees who often have little or no other support.’