FRONT PAGE: Airport pays £25k for unfair firing

A former senior press officer has won a £25,000 payout from Manchester Airport after an employment tribunal ruled she was unfairly dismissed.

Walley: Manchester Airport PRO
Walley: Manchester Airport PRO
Jennifer Walley was sacked from the airport's press office in September 2006 amid claims she had been briefing journalists against her emp­loyer.

The Tribunal found these allegations to be unfounded, instead concluding: ‘We are persuaded that the reason for the claimant's dismissal was her membership of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ).'

Walley was an equality off­icer for the NUJ's Manchester office. She was initially suspended in May 2006 after submitting alternative proposals to a planned res­tructure of the communications department on behalf of her team.

Walley was then accused of planting stories about her suspension in the Manchester Evening News and the Blackpool Gazette. The Soc­ialist Party website also ran an article criticising conditions at the airport with her name as the NUJ point of contact.

Walley was dismissed des­pite providing statements from the media outlets denying that she was the source.

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