Meat hygiene chief resigns

Donald Macintyre looks back on Philip Corrigan's short career in the UK

Philip Corrigan, head of the Meat Hygiene Service, has resigned "for personal reasons" nine days after the Independent revealed that he was appointed to his job while he was under investigation by the Australian government.

The Meat Hygiene Service announced last night that Mr Corrigan will step down from his £50,000 a year post from 31 July.

A statement said Mr Corrigan had stated that he would continue longer in his post "if required" until a replacement had been found. It did not mention claims made in the Australian Senate that Mr Corrigan, a former senior official in the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS), had faced six disciplinary charges under Section 61 of the Public Services Act.

The alleged offences - which were not criminal and carry the maximum penalty of dismissal - were believed to concern funding for overseas travel.

Mr Corrigan's appointment was the subject of a parliamentary question by Paul Tyler, the Liberal Democrats' agriculture spokesman, who raised the issue of what references had been sought by the British government before he was appointed.

Angela Browning, a Parliamentary Under-Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture, said that the normal inquiries had been made with AQIS.

Last night's statement said that Mr Corrigan had "used his international experience to shape the operational strategy of the Meat Hygiene Service to ensure it operates in the most professional and effective manner possible". The service is responsible for the enforcement of standards in abattoirs throughout the country.

It went on: "Philip Corrigan is a veterinary surgeon with a recognised international reputation in meat hygiene and in his time with the Meat Hygiene Service, he has developed excellent working relations with his peers, colleagues and staff. His work in assisting in the establishment of the Meat Hygiene Services has involved considerable personal sacrifice for Mr Corrigan - being apart from his family [still in Australia] and working long hours and seven days a week for many months."

Senator Bill O'Chee complained in the Australian senate on 21 March that the powerful senate estimates committee had not been told last November that Mr Corrigan had been given "official permission to have extended leave of absence so that he could take up a high-flying job in the United Kingdom".

The ministry said at the time that it was aware of allegations against Mr Corrigan, but that inquiries had not produced any evidence that he had acted "improperly or dishonestly".

Mr Corrigan, 48, was appointed to his job here last August. A document tabled in the Australian Senate in 1993 and purporting to be a letter from him to the Cold Storage Association of Australia sought a $500 grant towards a trip to an international conference on food-borne infections in Berlin.

Suggested Topics
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
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Proust as Captain Laure Berthaud in 'Spiral'
tvReview: Gritty, engaging and well-acted - it’s a wonder France’s biggest TV export isn’t broadcast on a more mainstream channel
Arts and Entertainment
music
Arts and Entertainment
Laura Carmichael in still from Madam Bovary trailer
film
News
i100
Sport
Serena Williams holds the Australian Open title
sportAustralia Open 2015 final report
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

Recruitment Genius: Online Media Sales Trainee

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Now our rapidly expanding and A...

Recruitment Genius: Public House Manager / Management Couples

£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about great ...

Recruitment Genius: Production Planner

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Recruitment Genius: General Factory Operatives

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Day In a Page

Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links
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