Cumbria

Axed Stobart Group boss has dismissal appeal rejected

Andrew Tinkler Image copyright PA
Image caption Andrew Tinkler had denied any wrongdoing

Former Stobart boss Andrew Tinkler has lost an appeal against his High Court defeat over his dismissal from the transport firm.

He was sacked by the company, which operates Carlisle and Durham Tees Valley airports, last year for alleged breach of contract.

Appeal Judge Julian Flaux dismissed Mr Tinkler's appeal, saying it had "no real prospect of success".

The former chief executive now faces an estimated £1m legal bill.

Stobart Group won a court case against Mr Tinkler in February, after he had campaigned to oust the company's chairman Iain Ferguson.

Mr Tinkler was found to have acted in breach of fiduciary duties in a number of ways, including speaking to investors and criticising management.

Image caption The Stobart Group owns Carlisle Airport

Judge Flaux said, in light of findings that the former boss acted covertly in a way which was "destabilising" to the firm, the conclusion of the original court case was "not only entirely justified but inevitable".

Mr Tinkler has been ordered to pay 55% of Stobart's legal costs from the case, which are understood to be more than £1m.

As part of the lengthy court case last year, star fund manager Neil Woodford rebutted claims that he worked alongside Mr Tinkler as part of a "conspiracy" to buy a majority stake in Stobart's aviation business.

Mr Tinkler's campaign to oust Mr Ferguson drew support from large shareholders and polarised company executives, but failed at last year's AGM, leading to his dismissal and his subsequent court case for unfair dismissal.

Despite the failure of the campaign, Stobart agreed to replace Mr Ferguson as chairman, with David Shearer taking over the role earlier this month.

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