Vice-chair named in Terrence Higgins Trust employment case steps down

The resignation of Paul Jenkins comes before judgment is handed down in the employment tribunal case involving the charity's former chief executive Rosemary Gillespie

Terrence Higgins Trust website
Terrence Higgins Trust website

The vice-chair of the Terrence Higgins Trust has stepped down for personal reasons before the outcome of an employment tribunal case involving the charity's former chief executive.

Paul Jenkins left his position at the HIV charity earlier this month and is no longer listed as a trustee on either the charity’s website or the Charity Commission’s online register.

The news comes as the trust awaits a decision in the employment tribunal case involving its former chief executive Rosemary Gillespie, who, during the hearing, accused Jenkins of groping and trying to kiss Dr Mike Brady, medical director at the charity, after getting drunk at a fundraising auction in aid of the trust.

Gillespie, who was sacked in July last year, claimed at an employment tribunal hearing in March that she had been forced out of her job after 15 months in the role after raising several "legitimate public interest concerns" with trustees.

In a witness statement provided to the tribunal, Jenkins admitted he had drunk too much at the event but denied Gillespie was dismissed because she had raised a protected disclosure against him.

Kerry Blair, the charity's former director of growth and development, said in an additional statement to the tribunal that, although he saw Jenkins try to kiss Brady on the cheek, he did not see him attempting to grab Brady in the manner alleged. 

Jenkins also stood down last month from his position as interim chief officer at the NHS Enfield Clinical Commissioning Group to take up new assignments in interim healthcare management, according to an announcement from the CCG.

He had been at Enfield CCG since August and was replaced by another interim appointment.

A spokeswoman for the Terrence Higgins Trust said in a statement: "After five years on the board of trustees, the vice-chair Paul Jenkins stepped down in early June for personal reasons." 

Third Sector was unable to reach Jenkins for comment.

Gillespie, who is seeking compensation from the charity, claimed she had been the victim of a "nasty, vindictive and sustained campaign of bullying" that began on her second day in the role.

The judgment in the case has not yet been published but is expected soon.

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