Here is the weather report: Giles guilty of bullying, with a little appeal later

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The Independent Online
BILL GILES, the BBC weatherman, yesterday launched an appeal against senior executives at the Met Office after they upheld complaints about him bullying colleagues.

The ruling followed an internal inquiry into allegations of harassment and bullying made by two other forecasters, David Lee and Richard Edgar, who are both currently on long-term sick leave. They had complained about 59-year-old behaving like a "head prefect".

Following their allegations the Met Office conducted a seven-month investigation against Giles and he was found guilty of serious misconduct. The report compiled at the end of the investigation found that Giles "let his frustrations descend into unacceptable behaviour".

Ian McCaskill, another BBC forecaster, who retired 18 months ago, has said he was relieved to have escaped an intimidating environment in which Giles, who has been in charge of the 21-strong team since 1983, stalked the corridors "like a prefect at a minor public school".

Giles, who has always contested the allegations, yesterday denied he was a bully but conceded he had a "big ego".

"I am a big softie. This is one of those things that happens. My colleagues are the best in the business," he said before adding that he would consider resigning if his appeal failed.

"I have got every hope that the appeal will be upheld. I am just looking forward to going back to the BBC Weather Centre where I manage these wonderful meteorologists, and give you the best broadcasts you can see on TV."

In a statement released through his union representative, David Luxton, of the Institution of Professionals, Managers and Specialists, he said: "What we have sought to prove today is that Bill Giles is certainly not a bully, that he is not guilty of harassment and that the allegations are a farrago of unrelated personal gripes that do not amount to `serious misconduct'.

He said the official Met Office investigation confirmed that "practically all the staff at the BBC Weather Centre get on well with Bill".

"We hope that our appeal to the chief executive of the Met Office will exonerate Bill from the damaging and hurtful allegations he has had to suffer."

A spokesman for the Met Office, which remains a part of the Ministry of Defence, said a decision on what, if any, action taken against Giles would be made following the outcome of the appeal.