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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 September, 2003, 14:15 GMT 15:15 UK
TV presenter awaits judgement
Laurie Mayer
Mr Mayer wrote about the bullying allegations in a Sunday newspaper
An employment tribunal has reserved judgement in the case of a BBC newsreader who claims he was dismissed for publicly revealing allegations of bullying.

Former BBC and Sky presenter Laurie Mayer, 57, claimed at a four-day hearing that he was "harassed" out of his job because he exposed the claims of bullying at the BBC's offices in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

Mr Mayer, who was the main presenter for BBC South East Today until June last year, has brought his claim for unfair treatment under legislation designed to protect whistle-blowers.

On Thursday the tribunal was adjourned to allow the panel to consider legal issues in the case before giving their judgement.

"Formal" style

During the hearing, the panel heard seven allegations of bullying, made by staff at Tunbridge Wells against senior manager Davina Reynolds.

She was said to have shouted and sworn at staff members she did not like, while favouring those she did.

The hearing heard how Mr Mayer took the allegations to the head of news at Tunbridge Wells, Laura Ellis, and asked if something could be done about Miss Reynolds.

However Mrs Ellis described Mr Mayer's attitude as "dismissive and patronising" and told the tribunal that Mr Mayer's contract was terminated for "proper editorial reasons".

Earlier in the hearing, it was claimed the newsreader's presenting style was "too formal" for a regional news programme.

The panel is expected to reach a decision in the case in the next three to four weeks.

After Thursday's hearing Mr Mayer said: "I really want to pay tribute to the courage of those people who came forward."

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