Sacked Luton Labour employee to take party to tribunal

Francis Steer, pictured during his stint as voluntary co-ordinator for the town's city status bid

Francis Steer, pictured during his stint as voluntary co-ordinator for the town's city status bid

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A longstanding and senior employee of Luton Labour has been dismissed and will take the party to an employment tribunal, we can reveal.

Francis Steer has worked for Labour for the last 12 years and over that time has been an organiser and election agent for local and general elections.

Mr Steer pictured with Luton North MP Kelvin Hopkins

Mr Steer pictured with Luton North MP Kelvin Hopkins

The Luton News understands that Mr Steer was sacked by the town’s Labour group of councillors following a secret vote behind closed doors a week after the local elections on May 7– in which the party retained its grip on Luton Borough Council.

It is believed that the termination of Mr Steer’s employment was put forward as a motion by Cllr Mahmood Hussain, seconded by Cllr Raja Saleem.

It is not known why the decision was taken.

A Labour source has told us that arbitration between the party and Mr Steer was launched after the dismissal, but those talks have now broken down.

Francis Steer pictured with Luton South MP Gavin Shuker, during a campaign for the town's city status bid

Francis Steer pictured with Luton South MP Gavin Shuker, during a campaign for the town's city status bid

It is also alleged that Mr Steer found out about his sacking via a third party, who received a text message from Luton Borough Labour Party chair Mick Ireland.

Mr Steer told the Luton News: “I can confirm that I no longer work for the Labour Group and that I am now in a position to take them to an rmployment tribunal for unfair dismissal.

I cannot comment further prior to the case being heard”.

The Luton News understands that it could take several months before the tribunal comes to a decision.

Mr Steer continues to work for both Luton MPs Kelvin Hopkins and Gavin Shuker.