Current Affairs

Homophobia allegations at employment tribunal

PinkNews Staff Writer March 29, 2007
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An employment tribunal heard allegations yesterday that the brother of former MP Edwina Currie used anti-gay language in the workplace.

Former policeman Mike Jackson is taking the Police Information Technology Organisation (PITO) to the tribunal.

Giving evidence, Mr Jackson, 57, said that while working as a manager at PITO in London he was exposed to sexist, racist and homophobic behaviour on a regular basis.

Mr Jackson served with the Essex Police for 35 years and reached the rank of Chief Superintendent

Mr Henry Cohen, Ms Currie’s brother, was working in a freelance capacity for PITO, a project worth £154m per year.

“His conduct… amounted to bullying and using homophobic, sexist and foul language,” Mr Jackson told the tribunal yesterday, according to the Daily Mirror.

Mr Jackson said he was victimised because he challenged Mr Cohen’s behaviour and is claiming for sexual, racist and homophobic discrimination.

Ex-Tory MP Edwina Currie, a former Tory minister, told The Mirror, “my brother’s a lovely guy.” She said she knew nothing about the allegations.

Mr Cohen will not be giving evidence at the tribunal, which he says is a dispute between PITO and Mr Jackson.

“There was not a single complaint made against me,” said Mr Cohen in a statement to

“Nor was there ever any suggestion that I behaved in either an inappropriate or unprofessional manner.

“PITO were more than happy with the quality of my work and the success I delivered, and I know I have their total support in this matter”.

The employment tribunal continues.

In 1994, Ms Currie tried to have the age of consent for gay sex equalised. Her House of Commons motion failed but the age was lowered from 21 to 18.

She lost her seat in the 1997 Labour landslide. In 2002 she revealed that she had a four-year affair with John Major in the 1980s.

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