Weatherman wins appeal over bullying claims

Weatherman Bill Giles was "delighted and relieved" today after he won his appeal against a ruling by the Meteorological Office that he had bullied and intimidated TV colleagues.

Weatherman Bill Giles was "delighted and relieved" today after he won his appeal against a ruling by the Meteorological Office that he had bullied and intimidated TV colleagues.

Mr Giles launched the appeal earlier this month after a seven-month Met Office inquiry found him guilty of "serious misconduct".

The veteran weather presenter, who received an OBE four years ago, was telephoned with the news in Geneva this morning as he attended the 50th anniversary celebrations of the World Meteorological Organisation.

Speaking through his union, the Institute of Professionals, Managers and Specialists, Mr Giles expressed his delight at the outcome.

Union representative David Luxton said: "I have just spoken to Bill and he said he is very relieved at the decision and looking forward to going back to work on Monday. He says the sun is shining in Geneva."

A spokesman for the Met Office said: "The Met Office has completed its investigation into the allegations of deliberate harassment and bullying made by Richard Edgar against Bill Giles, its senior weatherman at the BBC Weather Centre.

"Bill, who reached the normal Civil Service retiring age of 60, last week, has been cleared of the charges which would have amounted to serious misconduct.

"Nevertheless, in conducting a full and thorough analysis of the case, Chief Executive Peter Ewins has concluded that there are problems with management of the Met Office's activities at the Weather Centre and that changes are necessary."

The spokesman said the problems had arisen because of the rapid increases in the numbers of staff and broadcasts over the past two years.

"The Met Office is considering with the BBC precisely what changes are required," he added.

Mr Giles, who leads the BBC's team of 21 weather presenters, has not appeared on screen since the claims were made and is now looking forward to going back to work with his old colleagues.

He had appealed at a two-hour hearing with Met Office chief executive Peter Ewins on the grounds that the allegations against him, made principally by colleague Richard Edgar, were a "farrago of unrelated personal gripes" and did not amount to "serious misconduct".

The weatherman had said that grumbles from performers with big egos had been exaggerated and blown out of all proportion.

Mr Giles, who has been in charge of the BBC team since 1983, claimed he was just a "big softie" despite the Met Office inquiry finding him guilty of serious misconduct.

Fellow weathermen Mr Edgar and Mr Lee remain on sick leave months after objecting to Mr Giles's management style.

They had complained that Mr Giles and a colleague created a climate of fear at the BBC Weather Centre through criticism and biting memos.

Retired weatherman Ian McCaskill had also criticised Mr Giles and John Teather, a BBC executive, for acting "like prefects at a minor public school".

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