Whistleblower Steph Booth tells tribunal of verbal abuse by boss

Steph Booth, Cherie Blair’s stepmother, was allegedly branded a “f****** b****” after whistle-blowing about a charity where she worked as a teacher, an employment tribunal heard yesterday.

Booth worked as a teacher for the charity Cool UK, contracted by by local education authorities, to offer help to teenagers excluded from school by teaching them vocational subjects such as health and beauty, construction and vehicle maintenance.

But at the hearing in Manchester, Booth claimed she was subjected to a campaign of victimisation after she raised concerns about the “chaotic and unprofessional” organisation, the Independent has reported. She told the tribunal that the charity employed unqualified staff, some of whom downloaded pornography from the internet on the premises.

Just under a year after joining Cool UK in April 2008, Booth went on sick leave, and was made redundant.

She is claiming unfair dismissal, breach of contract and suffering detriment or dismissal due to exercising her rights under the Public Interest Disclosure Act, and on health and safety grounds.

She said: “[Her boss, Gareth] Binding’s behaviour towards me was aggressive and derogatory in front of colleagues. In fact he said I was a f****** b*****.

“My accent and my education and my relatives were all sneered at. Mr Binding had demonstrated he had no intention of addressing any of my concerns.”

The hearing continues.

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