Paul Embery was dismissed as an official from the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) after he spoke at a Leave Means Leave rally at the height of the Brexit paralysis. In March 2019 the left-leaning political activist gave a speech in Westminster in which he urged for the 2016 referendum result to be honoured, even if it meant leaving the EU without a deal.
Mr Embery was sacked following the speech.
FBU argued the Brexiteer had committed gross misconduct by getting involved with the rally.
In his speech, he said: “The message to the leaders of my movement is, if you want to stay relevant, then it’s about time you put yourself on the side of the people over the establishment and big business, and you better do that damn quickly.”
The union argued Mr Embery had failed to exempt the FBU, a pro-Remain union, from criticism in his statement.
READ MORE ON OUR BREXIT LIVE BLOG
Then-Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage, Richard Tice, and then-Labour MP Kate Hoey all also spoke at the rally.
Norwich Employment Tribunal ruled Mr Embery was unfairly dismissed after a “witch hunt”.
The tribunal heard the case over a period of three days in February.
It was told how Mr Embery and the FBU General Secretary Matt Wrack has regularly clashed over Brexit.
He was warned in advance not to attend the rally but did so anyway.
A fortnight later the FBU launched an internal investigation and found Mr Embery had broken a 2016 anti-Brexit motion passed by the union.
READ MORE: Brexit Britain’s ‘investment Big Bang’ -Boris in plan to unleash UK
“How could any fair minded member come to a reasonable belief on the facts that the claimant had committed any form of misconduct?”
He added that it appeared “right from the start… there was an agenda” to remove the Brexiteer and that it “looked like no more than a witch-hunt”.
Responding to the verdict, Mr Embery said: “While I am glad that, after two years, justice has finally been served, I take no pleasure in the outcome.
“It was an honour to serve as an FBU official for 20 years, and I remain to this day a proud member of the union.”
He said the judgment was “emphatic”, adding: “I maintained all along that my sacking was politically-motivated.
“It is clear from its findings that the judge-led tribunal shared my view.”
Mr Embery represented himself in the hearing against the FBU’s lawyers.
The FBU has not commented on the outcome of the tribunal.
Credit: Source link