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Mermaids chief executive resigns as the transgender charity faces watchdog probe

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Mermaids chief executive resigns as the transgender charity faces watchdog probe after offering chest-flattening binders to girls as young as 13 against their parents’ wishes

  • The chief executive of controversial children’s charity Mermaids has resigned 
  • Susie Green has been under pressure for weeks over children’s safeguarding 
  • Mermaids has come under fire for offering potentially dangerous chest-binding 

The chief executive of controversial transgender children’s charity Mermaids has resigned, the organisation has said.

Susie Green’s departure after six years was announced in a statement on the charity’s website, but no explanation was given about what was behind the move.

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The Mermaids boss has been heavily criticised for the charity promoting potentially dangerous ‘chest-binding’ for children, now the subject of a watchdog probe, and trying to have the LGB Alliance struck off as a charity.

Mermaids has also given training to organisations including West Yorkshire police, who some argue should be investigating the charity over safeguarding concerns.

Chair of trustees Belinda Bell said: ‘The trustees are very grateful to Susie for everything she has done over the last six years to support trans, non-binary and gender-diverse young people and their families, and to build Mermaids into the organisation it is today.

‘We wish her all the best for the future.’

The charity said an interim chief executive would be appointed shortly.

Susie Green, a former IT consultant with no medical training, has resigned as Mermaids CEO after six years 

Mermaids was founded in 1995 and staffed by volunteers until 2016.

Ms Green became its first member of staff. The Leeds-based charity, which also has an office in London, has about 44 staff members and 110 volunteers.

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Mermaids has launched an appeal against the Charity Commission’s awarding of charitable status to LGB Alliance, which has been critical of ‘gender ideology’.

It is understood to be the first time one charity has attempted to strip legal status from another.

A question was also raised about Mermaids in Parliament during Prime Minister’s Questions in October.

Then-prime minister Liz Truss said that allegations about Mermaids ‘should be properly looked at’ after a Conservative MP called for a police investigation into the organisation.

Binders (pictured) are items of clothing designed to flatten and constrict the breasts, which can cause serious health issues

Binders (pictured) are items of clothing designed to flatten and constrict the breasts, which can cause serious health issues

Miriam Cates, the MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge, told MPs that ‘serious safeguarding failures’ by Mermaids had come to light, such as reportedly sending chest-flattening devices to young girls against their parents’ wishes.

The Telegraph had reported the charity – which supports transgender, non-binary and gender diverse children and their families – had been offering binders to children as young as 13 against the wishes of their parents.

Transgender charity Mermaids has been mired in controversy for months and was recently criticised by JK Rowling

Transgender charity Mermaids has been mired in controversy for months and was recently criticised by JK Rowling

Chest-binding is opposed by some groups over fears it causes breathing difficulties, back pain and broken ribs.

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The newspaper also reported the Mermaids online help centre had been offering advice to teenagers that hormone-blocking drugs are safe and ‘totally reversible’.

The Charity Commission opened a regulatory compliance case into the organisation after a number of complaints – it is the first step taken by the regulator, and not a finding of wrongdoing.

The Times has also reported that Dr Jacob Breslow, a trustee, gave a presentation in 2011 on ‘a science-informed understanding’ of people attracted to children.

In a statement last month, Mermaids said his appointment was a mistake and Dr Breslow had resigned.

Ms Bell said that steps were being taken to ‘ensure we are more rigorous in future’, adding: ‘We want to apologise for the distress and concern this news has caused.

‘It is clear that Dr Breslow should never have been appointed to the board, and as chair of the trustee board I am horrified that he was.’

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Source: Daily Mail

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