British diplomat fired from Belize gets £320,000 compensation

ddThe former British High Commissioner to Belize, John Yapp, was awarded  £320,000 in damages by a British High Court, after it found that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) had wrongfully fired him from his Belize post.

The court made the award this week, after it ruled last month that the FCO had breached Yapp’s contract and failed in its duty of care to him, when his service was abruptly terminated on June 13, 2008.

John Yapp, who has been a career diplomat for 37 years, was fired amidst allegations that he bullied his staff and touched a women inappropriately.

But after the FCO carried out an investigation, it found that the allegation of touchingthe  woman inappropriately could not be substantiated.

Yapp, a resident of Eastbourne, East Sussex was retired from the British public service in 2011, after he reportedly suffered from depression and had been placed on sick leave.

In an interview on Wednesday with the BBC News Sussex, Yapp, is quoted as saying that the FCO “tried to build up the bullying allegations because suddenly they realized they had withdrawn a high commissioner quite unjustly”.

Yapp also told the BBC that his career was destroyed and that caused his health to suffer.

After the ruling last month, the FCO told the BBC that it was disappointed with the court’s finding and maintained that it had acted “reasonably and in accordance with our procedures.”

“We will reflect on the judgment and consider the next step,” BBC News Sussex quoted the FCO as saying, after last month’s judgment.

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