Nuclear company dismisses manager: Sacking 'is linked to inquiry into funds'

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The Independent Online
A SENIOR manager at British Nuclear Fuels' headquarters in Risley, Cheshire, has been dismissed following an internal investigation into alleged misappropriation of the state-owned company's funds.

Brian Kerr, a senior manager responsible for employee communications, is to appeal against the disciplinary action. BNFL yesterday appeared confused and at first refused to confirm that Mr Kerr had been dismissed, saying only that he had 'left the company'.

An internal investigation is being carried out by the UK Atomic Energy Authority's police. A report was passed to Cheshire Police and as a result, the Serious Crimes Squad started an investigation into alleged irregularities within BNFL on 6 April.

The two inquiries follow the abrupt resignation on 5 March of BNFL's company secretary, Harold Bolter.

Mr Bolter resigned from the Board of BNFL after it was disclosed that a bill - amounting to several thousand pounds - for redecorating and refurbishing his homes had been paid by the company. The work had been carried out by a contractor to BNFL.

Mr Bolter said he was unaware of the transaction and immediately undertook to reimburse BNFL. Nonetheless he resigned, according to the company, 'because we have always maintained an open and honest policy, so our staff and directors must be above reproach if they are to get and retain the confidence of the public'.

As director of corporate affairs, Mr Bolter had responsibility for Mr Kerr's department. While the company said it was 'not prepared to go into details over Brian Kerr's dismissal', it confirmed it was connected with the circumstances surrounding Mr Bolter's departure.