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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 June 2006, 16:22 GMT 17:22 UK
'Naked civil servants' in new row
Civil servants on Tyneside accused of romping naked at work and having sex in toilets are at the centre of a new row over an e-mail insulting farmers.

The message, leaked from the Newcastle office of the Rural Payments Agency (RPA), branded farmers claiming subsidies as "crazy and unhinged".

The Agency condemned the e-mail and said it was written by an ex, temporary employee more than a year ago.

The RPA is already probing claims of drug-taking and naked antics at work.

'Disgruntled worker'

It confirmed that one worker had been sacked and it was investigating claims made earlier this week that staff leapt naked from filing cabinets, vomited into cups, held break-dancing competitions during working hours, and fought in a reception area.

A spokesman for the RPA said: "We condemn any negative comments about customers, wherever they appear. These are the actions a year ago of a disgruntled ex-temporary worker."

It is understood the e-mail insulting farmers was compiled from a series of comments made on a log kept of application forms for farmer subsidies.

The RPA is part of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and administers millions of pounds in agricultural payments to farmers.

Earlier this week an RPA spokesman said: "Allegations of serious misconduct by some agency and permanent staff at our Newcastle office is the subject of an ongoing internal investigation.

"Disciplinary action and a dismissal have already taken place and further action is pending."

Farmers protest against payments
11 Apr 06 |  Leicestershire

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