County news: Tribunal claims against Sussex MP droppped

Huw Merriman SUS-150916-112138001
Huw Merriman SUS-150916-112138001

City lawyer who claims she was harassed and victimised by a Tory MP after they had a one night stand has dramatically dropped her employment tribunal case today (Wednesday, February 10).

Patronia Campbell, 49, said she had a fling with Huw Merriman MP for Bexhill and Battle, after boozy works drinks in June 2011 when they were colleagues at the administrators of collapsed Lehman Brothers International Europe (LBIE).

She alleged that after rejecting his pleas to have an affair, managing director Mr Merriman, who she claims said he wanted to marry her, subjected her to unjustified criticism of her performance.

She also alleged he engineered situations to allow others to criticise her, and also gave her unfair ratings in an annual review.

Ms Campbell, who earned £130,000 a year plus bonuses, took the bank to the East London employment tribunal claiming she was harassed, victimised and unfairly dismissed and asking for £250,000.

However, in a dramatic turn on the seventh day of the hearing and as Mr Merriman was due to give evidence, Ms Campbell withdrew all her claims against her former employer.

The change of heart came following an application from LBIE’s representative James Laddie QC, who asked for three of her claims of victimisation to be struck out by the tribunal panel.

After a short break, Jack Feeny, representing Ms Campbell, announced to the hearing the claimant would be withdrawing all her claims.

Mr Laddie QC said: “We’re delighted the claimant has finally seen sense and we will not be making any further applications.

“We have decided we will not be pursing the claimant for any legal costs.

“My clients are happy to be able to get on with the rest of their lives.”

Both Mr Merriman, who was due to give evidence today, and Ms Campbell refused to give comment to the press as they left court.

Mr Merriman, who became an MP 2015, married in 2001 with three young daughters, always denied the one night stand in 2011 took place and denied he tried to have an affair with Ms Campbell.

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