Shropshire

Conservative MP Lucy Allan 'threatened to sack sick employee'

Arianne Plumbly
Image caption Arianne Plumbly told the BBC the alleged verbal abuse began in May

An ex-employee of Conservative MP Lucy Allan has claimed she was threatened with the sack while on sick leave.

Arianne Plumbly gave the BBC voicemails she said the Telford MP had left after she was signed off work for four weeks.

One message said: "I'm advising you to work as normal or resign. We all know you're not ill."

The BBC has been unable to contact Ms Allan, but a Tory Party spokesman said the complaints had been dealt with "appropriately and sympathetically".

In a written response to the Evening Standard, Ms Allan said: "Arianne Plumbly was dismissed from her employment with Lucy Allan, MP in Telford, after four months' employment, for gross misconduct following misuse of the Parliamentary email system, persistent unauthorised absenteeism, refusal to follow a reasonable instruction and rudeness to residents."

Media captionLucy Allan has not yet given a response to the BBC

But Miss Plumbly, 26, told the BBC she disputed those claims.

"That never happened, " she said.

"It [her contract] was terminated due to four weeks ill, as per my termination letter, signed by Lucy."

She said the alleged verbal abuse had begun in May and continued until she says she was dismissed "without reason" in September.

'Screaming and shouting'

Image caption Miss Plumbly (centre) worked on Lucy Allan's election campaign

"It got really bad the week before the election," said Ms Allan's former employee, who became her senior constituency caseworker.

"She was screaming and shouting at me down the phone saying I was useless and I hadn't done any work.

"But I was working nine until eight, Monday to Saturday every week for eight weeks.

"When she won, she was telling me how wonderful and amazing I was and I did get an apology.

"I naively put it down to the stress of the election and I did decide to stay on."


Timeline

September 2014 - Arianne Plumbly begins volunteering at Lucy Allan's office

December 2014 - She is employed as the campaign manager's assistant

March 2015 - The 26-year-old is promoted

May 2015 - Miss Plumbly claims the alleged verbal abuse started the week before the election, but says she received an apology when Ms Allan won the Telford seat.

June 2015 - She claims it started again when she asked for a week's holiday to be extended to two weeks.

September 2015 - Miss Plumbly was dismissed before her contract was due to finish in December.


Miss Plumbly said she had requested an extension to a week's holiday and the MP had later threatened to sack her.

She said after the office manager had left, Ms Allan had "turned her anger and frustrations to me".

"I was off ill for two days in September with a terrible cough and then I got a gum infection.

"My doctor told me to have four weeks off. That's when she threatened to sack me."

'Devastating impact'

In one voicemail, Ms Allan said: "You've been nauseous day after day. I don't know you're, if this is some sort of alcohol problem or whatever it is, but it's not a very good excuse."

Miss Plumbly said: "I have no idea why she would say that to me. I work part time in a pub and everyone knows I hardly ever drink."

She said it had had a "devastating impact" on her and she currently did not have a job.

"Before this I was extremely ambitious and enthusiastic. I was successful at every interview I got."

A Conservative Party spokesman said: "As soon as these complaints were made they were dealt with appropriately and sympathetically."

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites