TV presenter Sarah Cawood says she felt bullied and intimidated by the charity boss who sparked the Downing Street bullying row.
Sarah, a former patron of the National Bullying Helpline, says Christine Pratt left her in tears after accusing her of failing the charity.
"She was really pushy and I felt bullied," said Sarah, a former Top of the Pops presenter and The Wright Stuff panellist.
Sarah, 37, was among four patrons, including Tory MP Ann Widdecombe, who resigned last week after Mrs Pratt breached confidentiality by saying "three or four" No 10 staff had called her helpline.
As a victim of childhood bullying, Sarah agreed to lend her name to the helpline last August. But Sarah saw another side of Mrs Pratt five months ago when she had to cancel a charity appearance where she was due to present a man of the match award at an ice hockey game in Swindon, Wilts, where the helpline is based.
"I made it clear from the very beginning I had work commitments and if something came up I'd have to be there," Sarah said.
"I gave them a month's notice that I couldn't attend after I was asked to go abroad for a week's filming. I just couldn't turn down the work. But then Christine sent a very terse email to my agent which made me cry. In it she said I had embarrassed the charity with their trustees and the marketing team for the ice hockey team, and that she was worried the charity was losing credibility in the community because of me.
"She also questioned my commitment and pressed my agent to set out exactly what I was going to do for them. She wanted me to introduce her to organisations that would want to get involved.
"I felt properly told off. I was really upset by the tone of the email and rang her in tears to apologise. She knew I was upset - I was choked up. Afterwards she said she hadn't realised I would be abroad and accepted I couldn't go."
Sarah thought the two had patched things up, yet Mrs Pratt turned on her after she broke her ties with the helpline.
In a statement Mrs Pratt said: "Her role as patron has been disappointing and she hasn't got involved in spite of making many promises."
Sarah said: "What she said is grossly unfair. Mrs Pratt has managed to do a good job at sabotaging an important cause. The way she has behaved throughout this has been ill-considered and inappropriate."
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Posted By: NoseBleedSection |
10/16/12 3:28 PM
Somone who is the head of a charity should not behave in an aggressive manner.