Sudden change of climate at Weather Centre as appeal lifts `bully' cloud hanging over Giles

BILL GILES, the veteran BBC weatherman, was yesterday looking forward to returning to the nation's television screens after winning an appeal against a ruling by the Meteorological Office that he had bullied and intimidated his colleagues.

But the storm clouds have not all passed from this unlikely area of turbulence, with the Met Office acknowledging that the seven-month investigation into the allegations had uncovered management problems and that changes would have to be made.

Mr Giles launched the appeal earlier this month after the inquiry found him guilty of "serious misconduct". He told a two-hour hearing 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, who leads the BBC's team of 21 weather presenters and who received an OBE four years ago, had said that grumbles from performers with big egos had been exaggerated and blown out of all proportion.

He was telephoned with the result in Geneva yesterday as he attended the 50th-anniversary celebrations of the World Meteorological Organisation. Speaking through his union, the Institute of Professionals, Managers and Specialists, (IPMS) Mr Giles expressed his delight at the outcome.

"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," said union representative David Luxton.

Mr Edgar and fellow weatherman David Lee, who made a separate complaint, have been on sick leave since objecting to Mr Giles's management style in March. They claimed that Mr Giles and John Teather, a BBC executive, had created a climate of fear at the BBC Weather Centre through criticism and biting memos.

During the investigation Ian McCaskill, the forecaster, who is now retired, accused the two of acting "like prefects at a minor public school".

Mr Edgar's union representative reacted angrily to the appeal decision. "On behalf of Richard, I am surprised and indeed very disappointed with the decision of [Peter Ewins, the chief executive of the Met Office] to overturn the decision of his staff," said Elenor Hutcheson of the IPMS.

"It shows total disregard for the judgement of those staff involved in the procedure, who after a full investigation lasting many months, found Bill Giles guilty of serious misconduct," she added.

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, 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 later said that the Met Office will be holding meetings with Mr Edgar and Mr Lee to discuss their return to work.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: Phase Co-ordinator for Foundation and Key Stage 1

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Phase Co-ordinator for Foundation and Key S...

Tradewind Recruitment: SEN Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: SEN Teacher We have a fantastic special n...

Tradewind Recruitment: History Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an 11-18 all ability co-educat...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 6 Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 6 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee