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Ex-mayor cleared of discrimination

PUBLISHED: 20:00 20 June 2003 | UPDATED: 14:02 03 March 2010

FORMER Ipswich mayor Albert Grant today spoke of his delight after being cleared of racial discrimination by an industrial tribunal.

Mr Grant was taken to the tribunal together with the Black and Minority Ethnic Network - now the Cambridge Ethnic Community Forum - by Comfort Osunsami.

FORMER Ipswich mayor Albert Grant today spoke of his delight after being cleared of racial discrimination by an industrial tribunal.

Mr Grant was taken to the tribunal together with the Black and Minority Ethnic Network – now the Cambridge Ethnic Community Forum – by Comfort Osunsami.

She had alleged she had lost her job at the Network because she was of African origin – but her claim was conclusively rejected by the tribunal.

It accepted that Mr Grant and his colleagues were entirely blind to her African origins.

They accepted his case that Ms Osunsami's attitude while working at the Network had been the reason her contract with it had not been renewed in March last year.

"From the applicants conduct before us and in the face of the evidence we hear, we have no doubt that she allowed to develop such friction with those with whom she was obliged to deal and such inappropriate intransigence of attitude, the respondent board did not know which way to turn," the tribunal said.

"The very work of the organisation was at risk and we are satisfied that the respondent took the way out most available to it."

Mr Grant told The Evening Star today that the entire case had been a nightmare for him.

"To find myself accused of racial discrimination after my work in this field was appalling. I did not know she was of African origin," he said.

"I am delighted the result of the tribunal is so conclusive and that this allegation was totally dismissed."

He was one of the founders of the Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality and was awarded the OBE for his work in fostering good race relations in Suffolk in the New Year honours list in 2000.

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