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LEEDS SNUB FOR EX-HACKNEY EDUCATION CHIEF 'WAS RACE DISCRIMINATION'

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Leeds City Council is being taken to an industrial tribunal by a former director of education at Hackney LBC who is...
Leeds City Council is being taken to an industrial tribunal by a former director of education at Hackney LBC who is claiming racial discrimination after the Yorkshire authority failed to interview him for the director's job.

The Yorkshire Post (24 April, p12) reported that Gus John had taken early retirement from Hackney 11 months before a DfEE hit squad was called in to run education in late 1997.

At an industrial tribunal he has claimed he was one of only two suitable candidates who applied for the job and should at least have had an interview.

The hearing last week heard that Mr John was introduced to the Leeds education committee chairwoman Sarah Perrigo at a dinner party 10 days before the job was readvertised in September 1997.

The tribunal was told that following the meal, Ms Perrigo made comments about the suitablity of Mr John to the acting education director, who was also a candidate and felt undermined as a result.

Ms Perrigo was later serverly criticised by the council's chief legal officer, Paul Rogerson, the tribunal heard.

He said her actions were improper, given a council ban on canvassing by candidates applying for jobs with the council. She was replaced as education chair last May.

A barrister representing the council told the tribunal the meeting over dinner would have made an appointment highly embarrassing for the authority.

The hearing continues.

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