Disabled worker quit after clash with shamed MP
A DISABLED woman quit her job for disgraced MP Fiona Onasanya after they clashed when she corrected her boss, a tribunal heard yesterday.
Jan Goodenough, who has multiple scleroris, arthritis, heart problems, fatigue, incontinence and irritable bowel syndrome, was also told to use the men’s toilets because the ladies was too far away.
She told the hearing that Miss Onasanya’s constituency office was unsuitable for anyone with her medical conditions.
Matters came to a head after a ‘personality clash’ with the 35year-old former Labour MP, who still wears an electronic tag after being jailed for three months for lying about a speeding offence.
Office manager Robert Grayson said there was a ‘heated discussion’ after Miss Goodenough ‘corrected Fiona in front of a constituent’. Miss Goodenough told the employment tribunal at Cambridge County Court that the MP said the word ‘eligible’ as ‘illegible’. She added: ‘She said it about seven times. I had a notepad and wrote “Eligible, not illegible” and underlined it. The notepad was upside down and across the table from a woman who had cataracts. I did not say anything.’
Miss Onasanya accuses Miss Goodenough of saying: ‘If you don’t speak properly, people won’t
‘Eligible, not illegible’
understand what you are saying.’ But Miss Goodenough, said they had a ‘mildly heated discussion’ after the constituent left.
Miss Goodenough, a case worker at the office in Peterborough, said the MP took offence and ‘insisted’ she started working full time, which would have been ‘ incompatible’ with her health. She quit after two months in the job.
Miss Goodenough disclosed her illnesses during her job interview. But on starting in September 2017 she found there were no female loos on the first floor where she worked. She had to go to the ground or second floors, or the disabled toilet on the third floor.
Hearing that Mr Grayson told her she could use the gents in an emergency, Judge Michael Ord said: ‘No female staff should ever be asked to use the male toilets.’
After serving 28 days in jail this year, Miss Onasanya refused to quit as an MP and is now an independent after Labour threw her out. The tribunal continues.
Row: Fiona Onasanya at court yesterday, wearing a tag under her boot
Resigned: Jan Goodenough