UK Politics

Sisters are doing it themselves

Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt admits flouting the Sex Discrimination Act here in this story about a job applicant who was turned down for a job at the South West Regional Development Agency in favour of a less-qualified candidate when she was Trade Secretary:

[The candidate called Malcolm Hanney] had used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain notes taken at his interview in which he was described as by far the strongest candidate. The panel recommended his appointment, but instead the job went to a woman councillor from Devon who had been the third choice.

After the interview at the agency’s headquarters in Exeter in September last year he was told that he was being recommended for the job. Then, on October 28, he learnt that he had missed out to Christine Channon.

[After Court action] the commissioner acknowledged that the appointment was contrary to the code of practice for ministerial appointments. It recommended that the DTI apologise to Mr Hanney, but the department decided not to do so. Mr Hanney said: “The minister knew that the panel had recommended me to the post. She knew she was overriding the panel.”

A spokesman for the DTI said: “The DTI fully accepts the commissioner’s findings that we misunderstood certain provisions in the code. The permanent secretary has written to apologise to Mr Hanney. The department will pick up costs. Processes have changed to ensure this does not happen again.”

Update: This breach of professional trust demonstrates that women behaving badly has spread to schools:

A WOMAN geography teacher who dressed provocatively and flirted with pupils “snogged” a teenage student, a court heard yesterday.

Shelley White, 24, kissed the 15-year-old boy on two occasions in a classroom and once in a cupboard, Leeds Crown Court was told. Ms White, from Sheffield, denies three counts of abuse of trust by sexual activity with a child.