Royal Navy officer loses race claim over ‘Robert Mugabe’ taunts

A black Royal Navy officer has lost his claim for racial discrimination after being nicknamed ‘Robert Mugabe’ by his former colleagues.

Andrew Antrobus, 48, accused the service of racism alleging jealous colleagues had resorted to taunts after he was appointed manager at a recruitment office in Cornwall. He said that he had been introduced as “Andy aka Robert Mugabe” at important meetings, and on one occasion had came into work to find a poster that read “Vote Mugabe” on the wall above his desk.

But yesterday an employment tribunal dismissed the case against the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and two of Antrobus’ colleagues.

“We do not find the claimant was subjected to a detriment on the ground of his colour,” the tribunal said.

Tribunal judge John Hollow added that although it was “improbable that a white CPO would have been nicknamed Mugabe”, nonetheless the nickname was not unwanted. Antrobus had reportedly used the nickname himself.

The MoD said it was pleased the case had been dismissed.

“The MoD strives to achieve a working environment free from discrimination, harassment and bullying, and other such inappropriate behaviour,” a spokesman told Personnel Today.

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