TV presenter alleges racism at ITV in Bristol

Bristol television presenter Lisa Azizis pursuing a claim of racial discrimination against her employer, ITV.

The West Country Tonight co-presenter is taking ITV to an employment tribunal over claims of race and age and sex discrimination.

In papers prepared for the case, Aziz has claimed that a colleague regularly mimicked former News At Ten anchor Sir Trevor McDonald.

The documents also allege that the colleague imitated Pakistani and Irish accents and the accent of Bristol-based weather presenter Alex Beresford, the Bristol Evening Post reports.

The news reader has been on sick leave since June, suffering from stress and depression, which she claims is a direct result of accusations her bosses made about her expenses.

The 47-year-old, who was the first Asian news presenter to appear on national terrestrial television, believes the way she has been treated by her employers goes beyond her expenses.

Aziz is reported to have claimed, in legal papers drawn up for her employment tribunal, that she was “set up” by senior ITV managers to remove her from her £160,000-a-year job.

The tribunal case is due to be heard in March.

An ITV spokesman said: “ITV does not ordinarily comment when employee investigations or disciplinary proceedings are active.

“However, on this occasion, given the allegations which have been levelled at the company and a number of employees, we feel that we are left with little choice but to vehemently deny any discriminatory behaviour.”

He continued: “ITV follows established and recognised employment procedures and, as a result, we have carried out a full and thorough investigation, which found the claims made by Lisa Aziz to be baseless.

“We will vigorously defend our position in this regard.”

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