The BBC is claiming that funds intended to alleviate poverty have been directed to an extremist group. If true, the British public need to know how this happened
• Kate Osamor is the shadow secretary of state for international development
The full details of the investigation into aid contractor Adam Smith International in Syria by the BBC’s Panorama are yet to air. But the BBC is claiming that funds meant for the world’s poorest have ended up in the pockets of an extremist group. Adam Smith International strongly denies the allegations contained in the programme and in a separate Times story.
The biggest cause for concern would be how the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) – the two bodies responsible for the project funding a civilian police force – might have allowed this to happen. We urgently need to know exactly when FCO ministers knew of any problems in the project, what their response might have been and if they have identified challenges in other programmes.