Rubython: "it was a try-on"
EuroBusiness Magazine editor Tom Rubython has emerged the victor in a sex discrimination case after a woman dropped her complaint on the eve of an industrial tribunal hearing.
Former junior staff writer Rebecca Wright withdrew her claims two days before the hearing without trying to negotiate a settlement.
Rubython said: "The application was a try-on without any foundation or merit. She was a junior who failed to carry out a simple task – end of story." He added: "For me it was a matter of principle. At any time I could have ended this by paying £2,000. I did not choose to. Anyone who knows me knows I would be the last person to discriminate against a female employee, or anyone else for that matter."
The claim is believed to have been withdrawn after her solicitors, Freeth Cartwright, headed by Wright’s father, Roger Wright, were shown more than 100 e-mails and poems written to the male comparator in the case.
Rubython also hit out at the new rules brought in by the Labour Government which he said encouraged people to bring claims before tribunals that often have no merit.
Rupert Butler, of David Price Solicitors, representing Rubython, said: "This was a hopeless case, relying on weak and hearsay evidence of a single unsupported incident of discrimination that did not bear up to forensic analysis."
Although awards of costs are rare in industrial tribunals, Rubython said he was vigorously pursuing that issue and a separate hearing is due to be heard soon in an attempt to recover legal fees.
Contacted by Press Gazette, Wright confirmed the hearing was not going ahead and said she could make no further statement until all legal proceedings were over.