A long-serving refuse worker says he was sacked from his role because he is a member of UKIP.

Des Jones, from the Hollingdean area of Brighton, claims that GMB wanted him out of the job because of their hatred towards the controversial party.

He is now taking Brighton and Hove City Council’s waste removal team to an industrial tribunal to challenge the sacking over allegations that he scrawled homophobic abuse on a poster in a staff canteen.

Mr Jones claims he is the victim of “a stitch-up” and that the whole disciplinary process which has now lasted more than two years has put him “through hell”.

The 64-year-old said the stress and strain of his dis¬ missal led him to contemplate suicide and caused him to breakdown in front of his 20-year-old daughter.

Mr Jones claims he has worked for as refuse worker in the city since 1975 and had been a UKIP member for more than a decade.

His dismissal focuses on three homophobic comments written on a poster in the CityClean canteen which were advertising LGBT mentoring.

He was dismissed at a hearing in August last year and this was confirmed at a hearing before three city councillors in November.

His tribunal will be held in Croydon on May 29.

Mr Jones said there were three different remarks on two different posters in completely different handwriting and one in joined-up writing which he has never learned to do.

He said he was “absolutely flabbergasted”

at the accusations and said he didn’t even know the man he is accused of bullying was until he was being investigated.

He said: “I don’t really talk about politics at work, they all know I am UKIP, but I only speak when someone asks a question.

“Being a UKIP member is the only reason I can think of, I can’t think what else I have done, I have always worked and I have never had any problem.”

Mr Jones is being advised by former police officer Stuart Bower who claims the refuse worker has been found guilty on the back of nothing more than “accusation, speculation, conjecture, innuendo and third party hearsay.”

A GMB spokesman said the union would not be commenting on the tribunal as they were not representing Mr Jones but denied his removal was linked to his UKIP membership.