Union leader reinstated

SUSPENDED Suffolk-based union leader Paul Woolstenholmes was today reinstated – after more than three months away from work.Mr Woolstenholmes, a full-time member of the executive of the Fire Brigades Union, was suspended from his job at the end of June in a row over the leaking of minutes of confidential executive meetings.

SUSPENDED Suffolk-based union leader Paul Woolstenholmes was today reinstated - after more than three months away from work.

Mr Woolstenholmes, a full-time member of the executive of the Fire Brigades Union, was suspended from his job at the end of June in a row over the leaking of minutes of confidential executive meetings.

But today he was told the investigation against him had been dropped and he would be allowed to return to work on the executive.

"It is good news because it has been a frustrating time," said Mr Woolstenholmes, who lives in Felixstowe.

"I had a phone call from a contact to say that the case had been dropped but as yet I don't know the full details.

"It would be wrong of me to comment too much until I have seen all the relevant paperwork. Now I am just looking forward to getting back to work and I will be seeing my rep to get that arranged."

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Mr Woolstenholmes was elected on to the executive of the FBU last December.

He is national officer responsible for legal matters, health and safety, and pensions.

His election came after he played a high-profile role in the firefighters' dispute when he was secretary of the Suffolk branch of the union.

During his suspension he was encouraged by support from rank and file firefighters and other union members who campaigned for his reinstatement.

"This whole thing is quite ridiculous: there were leaks before I joined the executive, there were leaks when I was on the executive, and there have been leaks since I was suspended," he said.

The union refused to comment on the suspension as it was an internal matter.

What do you think of the way Mr Woolstenholmes has been treated? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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