Scotland Yard has been taken to an employment tribunal by a former director of logistics at the Metropolitan Police who was sacked for using a force vehicle to go to his nephew’s wedding in Scotland from his home in Sheffield in 2009.
Ironically, John Whitaker had overseen cuts in the use of hire cars and chauffeur services to save the Met money and he claimed he had saved “many millions of pounds” over the years. But Scotland Yard sacked him for gross misconduct. Whitaker is claiming unfair and wrongful dismissal as well as age discrimination (he is said to be 57) but the Met refutes the charges.
Whitaker said: “I consider the decision to dismiss me was made for disingenuous reasons unrelated to the allegation, allegations which had been accepted by a number of people at the [Met] at the time, and that the real reason was the wish to remove a number of senior and older people.”
He also claimed that he had driven the car to assess it for the Met and that he paid back its fuel costs. But while an investigation said he should just be given “words of advice”, a second investigation ended with him being sacked.
Whitaker told the tribunal: “I believe there were people who wanted to bring me down and get me out of the organisation.”
The tribunal is continuing.