Cornwall MP cleared of sexual orientation discrimination

A Cornwall MP has been cleared of claims that a research assistant was asked to “dig up dirt” on the sexuality of a political opponent.

Falmouth MP Candy Atherton had denied the allegations and an employment tribunal found in her favour.

Paul Phillips, 36, had claimed she asked him to find out whether gay Conservative opponent Ashley Crossley frequented gay bars in Soho.

Phillips, who claimed discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, was employed by Atherton for three months until he resigned in March 2004. Prior to that he had been a volunteer in her team.

Atherton said: “My sole aim in this litigation was to clear my name so that I could get back to doing the job I love, which is representing my constituents in Falmouth and Camborne.”

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