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UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office pays Substantial Damages in Whistleblower Case

UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office pays Substantial Damages in Whistle Blower Case days before Judge Malcolm Simmons was expected to give evidence

LONDON, UK, June 30, 2022 / -- In proceedings brought before an English court [2200909/2015] by a former employee of the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (‘FCDO’), it was alleged FCDO staff failed to protect or support its employees who reported criminal offences committed by staff. Judge Malcolm Simmons was asked to give evidence in that case on behalf of the Claimant. Days before the court was expected to hear the evidence of Judge Simmons, the FCDO settled the claim and agreed to pay substantial damages.

In one case, an employee of the FCDO was subject to a disciplinary process. In those proceedings, the disciplinary board was selected by the very persons the FCDO employee had accused of corruption. None of the witnesses proposed by the FCDO employee’s lawyers was called to give evidence; witness statements submitted by his solicitors were ignored and not even referred to in the boards ruling; he was not permitted to be present when the board interviewed witnesses it had called to give evidence; instead, he was sent what the board described as a “resumé” of their evidence; he was not permitted to cross-examine witnesses; he had no opportunity to ask his own questions and he was not permitted to put any documentary evidence before the board. This was hardly a fair process you might think. Not so said the FCDO. It believed the process was fair.

Judge Malcolm Simmons said “The UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office failed to support whistle blowers and has repeatedly attempted to frustrate a transparent enquiry into allegations that its staff turned a blind eye to corruption, and may have facilitated the commission of criminal offences. Choosing to look the other way is not a defence.”

Judge Malcolm Simmons has called for a public inquiry in the UK into the failure of the FCDO to protect UK whistle blowers.

Edward Montague
Edward Montague Associates
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