Tower governor loses sacking claim
The former governor of the Tower of London has lost his claim for unfair dismissal.
A central London employment tribunal rejected Major General Keith Cima's challenge that he should not have lost his job following allegations he called Beefeaters the "lowest of the low" and branded them "thick".
He was sacked at the end of last year after being accused of making derogatory comments about the Yeoman body.
Mr Cima was openly critical of a payout and apology given to Yeoman warder Mark Sanders-Crook, who had been dismissed after alleged bullying of the first female Beefeater, Moira Cameron. Mr Cima was accused of saying the organisation "prostituted itself" by making the payment to Mr Sanders-Crook.
He was also alleged to have told an interview candidate, Alison Lodge, that he had taken the top job because it paid more than the Army.
Ms Cameron started work in summer 2007, but Mr Cima said by February 2009 he noticed she was starting to lose her hair because of stress over bullying. The former soldier, who spent more than 30 years in the Army, wanted to defend her, saying he had "zero tolerance" for bullying, and objected to the later payout and apology given to Mr Sanders-Crook.
Mr Cima was dismissed by management at Historic Royal Palaces (HRP) last December for gross misconduct after vocal criticism of the settlement. In his witness statement, he said: "I had not been as co-operative as Mr (Michael) Day (chief executive of HRP) would have liked over the Sanders-Crook settlement and apology. I believed that this was the reason that had triggered all these allegations and led to my dismissal."
He also told the hearing that from December 2009 his eyesight began to deteriorate and fear of losing his sight left him distracted and affected his judgment. He was diagnosed with cataracts and now has "bionic" eyes, he said.
But employment judge Harjit Grewal, who chaired the panel, said he did not mention his eyesight during the internal disciplinary process. She found that HRP had "conducted a full and reasonable investigation" prior to his dismissal.
In explaining her decision, she said Mr Cima had made "inappropriate, offensive and damaging remarks about HRP as an organisation" and he had "failed to accept that he had done anything wrong or that he needed to change". She added: "There's no evidence before us to indicate that the decision reached by Mr Day was biased, unfair or unreasonable."