'General chit chat' with Cambs Times reporter revealed as 'unreasonable behaviour' cited by BBC at tribunal - Press Gazette

'General chit chat' with Cambs Times reporter revealed as 'unreasonable behaviour' cited by BBC at tribunal

A local newspaper reporter has revealed how some “general chit chat” with BBC journalist Sally Chidzoy led to her employment tribunal claim against the corporation being thrown out.

A barrister for the BBC overheard Chidzoy speaking to Cambridge Times journalist Sarah Cliss during an adjournement at magistrates’ court last month.

The lawyer complained to the judge and succeeded in getting the case thrown out for “unreasonable behaviour” on the part of Chidzoy. The BBC legal team heard the term “Rottweiler” used.

The BBC Look East home affairs correspondent claims she has been bullied since raising concerns about the fact that her editor was also working as press officer for a local charity.

She also claimed that interference from then health minister Norman Lamb MP saw three of her stories about the high pay and benefits for an NHS boss spiked.

One BBC executive referred to Chidzoy as a “Shitsu” and “dangerous dog” in an email to colleagues.

Cliss told the Wisbech Standard: “The conversation with Sally was mostly general chit chat about news desks and their inability to give correct details.

“I was late arriving because I was told the tribunal was starting an hour later than it actually did. We were laughing that that was nothing unusual.

“Sally said she was glad that someone was there to cover the tribunal and yes the word Rottweiler was mentioned – but it was me that said it in reference to myself.

“Apart from Sally’s solicitor, who asked me for a written statement at the time, no one from the court or the BBC has asked me about the conversation.”

Chidzoy argued that she had been unfairly treated by the BBC after being subject to a final written warning. She is appealing against the Cambridge employment tribunal decision.



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Author: Dominic Ponsford

Dominic Ponsford is the editor of Press Gazette