Whistleblower to face former boss

9th May 2003 at 01:00
A COLLEGE lecturer who was sacked unfairly after blowing the whistle on alleged internal fraud will do battle with his former boss across a council chamber.

In this month's council elections, sacked Grimsby College health and safety lecturer Alan Cowood, 48, was the people's choice to represent Labour on North East Lincolnshire Council in its Sidney Sussex ward. Meanwhile, his political rival, Grimsby College principal Daniel Khan, who had a hand in his unfair dismissal, has also been elected as a Liberal Democrat councillor for the Park ward of Grimsby.

They were both out on the campaign trail on Grimsby's streets the night before the hearing of a long-standing employment tribunal tussle between the pair, which ended last week.

Mr Cowood was sacked for writing to FE Focus confirming the college was one of 33 being investigated by the Learning and Skills Council in March 2002.

Now working as a long-distance lorry driver, he found himself explaining on the streets to potential voters why he was unfairly dismissed by the college amid claims of financial irregularities.

Mr Cowood said he was looking forward to seeing Mr Khan again following Thursday's poll: "The only difference between us now is that Mr Khan will have to declare his interest in education. I lost my job for speaking out about it."

The employment tribunal in Hull decided the college had breached Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, on freedom of expression, saying the sacking was "wholly disproportionate".

A Grimsby College spokeswoman said the college "remained disappointed and perplexed" by the ruling. The college paid Mr Cowood pound;3,062 in compensation after he won his case.

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