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UK Caritas organisation loses its 'strategic ally' at Downing Street

The CAFOD Catholic aid and development organisation issued a statement of regret following yesterday's resignation of Britain's influential International Development Secretary Clare Short.

Ms Short said she had no alternative but to quit as International Development Secretary due to Government "mistakes" on Iraq. She accused Prime Minister Blair of running the Labour Party in a "control freak style" and being "increasingly obsessed" by securing his place in history.

CAFOD Director Julian Filochowski said: "Clare Short was a great International Development Secretary. Before she took over, development was the Siberia of Government she has taken it to the heart of Government".

The CAFOD statement said Ms Short "looked at development in Britain and concluded that if it has been possible here it is possible in all parts of the world and she tried to make that happen".

Describing the resignation as 'a blow' to churches, Christian think-tank Ekklesia said: "Clare worked closely with aid agencies such as CAFOD, Christian Aid and campaign groups such as the Jubilee 2000 coalition towards cancellation of Third World Debt."

Before the Iraq war, she arranged for US church leaders to meet with Tony Blair at No 10 Downing Street.

Image: Clare Short signing partnership agreement with CAFOD in May 2001 (CAFOD website)

Independent Catholic News

Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD) | CAFOD statement on resignation of Clare Short | Report of Clare Short's visit to CAFOD in May 2001
Short attacks 'obsessed' Blair
Clare Short's resignation letter
Short launches broadside on Blair (BBC)
Department for International Development
Clare Short (The Guardian 20/3/01)

13 May 2003