The Shields Gazette is celebrating a victory for press freedom after
a whistle-blower working for the National Trust was vindicated for
leaking a damning report about a contaminated beauty spot.
Collins was sacked as a warden of the Trust for breaching press
protocol by handing the report to the Gazette’s crime correspondent
Murray Kelso, citing public interest.
But an employment tribunal
has now ruled Collins’ actions were justified and he had been unfairly
dismissed. The Gazette launched a campaign for the findings, which
outlined details of dangerous chemicals at the former landfill site, to
be made public.
Editor John Szymanski said: “We are delighted
over the ruling. Peter Collins, who had been warden there for 18 years,
clearly believes the area isn’t safe and we backed him to the hilt over
his concerns, the experts’ conclusions and subsequent actions.”
A date has been set for the tribunal to rule on any compensation owed to Collins and whether he will get his job back.