Bullying and harassment mustn’t be tolerated – period

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Gross MisconductBBC senior managers have made their decision based on their internal investigation of Jeremy Clarkson’s behaviour. His contract will not be renewed – he’s being dismissed. As intimated by the million-signature petition, it will be a devastating decision for many fans of Top Gear. But bullying and harassment mustn’t be tolerated.

There has been much speculation about the decision that would be made by the BBC. But quite rightly, in making their decision they have not bowed to public pressure to ignore Jeremy Clarkson’s behaviour simply because he is star.

Instead, they opted to follow a sound process. They suspended (on full pay), investigated, and then made a decision based on the facts they had uncovered.

Imagine this: a junior BBC employee throwing a punch at a Jeremy Clarkson followed by thirty minutes of verbal abuse towards the star. Would there be a huge outcry to say that the person should not be dismissed? I doubt it! The crowd would surely chant “sack them”.

Why then should there be one rule for famous, powerful people and another rule for the rest? The simple answer is that there shouldn’t. And, why should the BBC (or any other firm) bow to the pressures of the employee bodies, unions or the general public in support of the wrongdoer? The answer is the same: they shouldn’t.

Misconduct and gross misconduct by employees is an internal management problem that is dealt with using internal management processes. Unacceptable behaviour should not be tolerated by anyone or any firm.

I congratulate the BBC managers for doing the right thing based on the evidence they collected and for not bowing to public pressure.

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