A COUNCIL boss is being called to give evidence at an industrial tribunal about a binman who is challenging his sacking over alleged homophobic abuse.

Brighton and Hove City Council chief executive Penny Thompson and other council and Cityclean management figures are being called by witness summons to the tribunal of former Cityclean employee Des Jones.

Mr Jones, who said he had worked as a refuse collector in the city since 1975, was dismissed in August last year and believes his status as a Ukip member was a factor in the allegations being made against him.

He was dismissed after he was accused of writing three homophobic comments on a poster advertising LGBT mentoring in the Cityclean canteen.

He appeared at a hearing in Croydon a week ago and the tribunal has now been set for three days in October.

The 64-year-old, from Hollingdean in Brighton, and his legal adviser are now calling on the council to resolve the issue before the hearing and save the taxpayer thousands of pounds.

Stuart Bower, a former police officer and Ukip parliamentary candidate who is advising Mr Jones, said he was delighted with the outcome of Thursday’s hearing and is confident that the case against Mr Jones will come unstuck over the three-day hearing.

Lost wages He added: “We want to ask Penny Thompson why the council is continuing to fight this?

“With a three day hearing, I estimate that 50 Brighton and Hove residents might just as well put their council tax in the fire for what it will cost the taxpayer.

The claimants say that Mr Jones is entitled to £20,000 in lost wages and bonuses as well as recovering his full pension entitlement and to “clear his good name”.

One day of an industrial tribunal costs the taxpayer more than £1,000 in staff and judicial costs alone without either party’s own legal costs to consider.

Mr Jones, who says the stress brought on from the accusations led him to contemplate suicide, said: “The irony is that I was going for reinstatement to my role but by the time this is all over I will have reached retirement.

“It’s been an absolute nightmare and I just want to get this resolved and move on.”