Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Clergyman lost compensation for 'intemperate' remarks about Bishop of Liverpool

THE rancour between the Liverpool Church of England diocese and its former press officer David Johnston is a matter for regret: ironically, a high-profile tale of error, confusion and fall-out between church officials and the man charged with promoting their Christian mission.

Mr Johnston – suspended and twice sacked in a dispute lasting 18 months – has now won an industrial tribunal hearing for unfair dismissal. The tribunal panel took just 15 minutes to find in his favour, awarded him more than £19,000 in compensation, but then deducted 25% for his “intemperate” remarks about his bishop, James Jones.

It needs to be made clear that the decision for Mr Johnston was made on the grounds of faults with the diocesan procedure in presenting its own case, and not based on the personal attack he chose to make against Bishop Jones when giving evidence to the tribunal.

Under legal privilege, Mr Johnston was entitled to say whatever he wished in giving his side of the story. Obviously, he felt deeply let down.

But in the context of the bishop’s overall responsibilities and the way he carries out his office, Mr Johnston’s views will not hold sway with the organisations and groups with whom Bishop Jones has voluntarily involved himself. Read more

No comments will be posted without a full name and location, see the policy.

1 comment:

Peter Kirk said...


Mr Johnston may now regret what he said about the bishop, but it cannot be unsaid. Also we should not forget that this is the same bishop involved in Elaine Storkey's unfair dismissal. One bishop involved in two unrelated unfair dismissals in one year? It looks like there is something wrong.

I see that according to Wikipedia(!) "The [Storkey] case is due for further hearing in the Employment Tribunal on 10 June 2008." Have you seen any report of this?