Wales

Bodnant Welsh Food boss 'called transgender woman 'it''

Bodnant Welsh Food Centre Image copyright Steve Fareham/Geograph
Image caption Chris Morton is the former managing director of Bodnant Welsh Food Centre, but is now retired

A food centre boss called a transgender member of staff "it" and said he wanted her out of the firm, a tribunal heard.

Bodnant Welsh Food's ex-managing director Chris Morton made "shocking comments" the hearing was told.

The sexual discrimination case, held in Mold, Flintshire, was brought by the former head of human resources at the Conwy Valley business, Jackie Atkinson.

Mr Morton said he was shocked to receive the complaint in which she accused him of bullying.

Miss Atkinson claimed she was made redundant because she objected to Mr Morton's homophobic remarks about gay employees.

'Feminist wittering'

Mr Morton, who has since retired, said the redundancy decision was made on a "business, needs-must basis".

The transgender employee, referred to as "A" in the hearing, was transitioning from male to female.

The tribunal heard that during a meeting to discuss A's decision to transition, Mr Morton put his head in his hands and said "not another one".

He admitted emailing Miss Atkinson asking for three options to dismiss A and was told there were none.

He told the panel it was not because A was transitioning, but due to "all the fuss and pantomime" around it.

Mr Morton denied making the comments and also said he did remember using the term "feminist wittering" towards Miss Atkinson during a staff meeting when she offered an idea as part of a brainstorming session.

Miss Atkinson, who also ran the farmhouse accommodation, worked at the food centre from May 2013 until May 2015.

The judgement was reserved to a later date.