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neil robertson

" Posted by Tbooz on Feb 23 2011
In my years of service, i av never seen a situation where someone would be served a warning letter and same day a dismissal letter. Imagine someone was sacked on the phone, they can't do this in the uk never."

The British Council's current head of Intercultural Dialogue globally - a guy called Mike Hardy who
in February 2000 was based in Cairo and had no
line managerial role at all in respect of the £1.9m
UK DfID 'PAID' project in Palestine to which I had been appointed - tried do exactly this Tbooz in the middle of my first field mission after a rogue BC staff member called Emma Sky and he forced the resignation of the appointed project director on Day 5 of the 'Inception Week'. I reported my concern to the Head of British Council in Gaza (Ms Bardsley) - as a 'Protected Disclosure' - which named Hardy - and continued with my Terms of Reference. I was then asked to contact him by phone in BC's HQ in Manchester at a time and date of his choosing by phone - which I did from The Netherlands as soon as I was back in Europe and in transit. Hardy then resumed his harangue in respect of the resignation of the project director ... shouting down the phone until a fire alarm went off in his Manchester office and I stopped being able to make sense of his rant.
An unsigned letter - 'pp'd by the PA of another BC DATS official David Cooke who I had never met and who BC's lawyer Stuart Garland was subsequently forced to concede had been out of the office at the time the unsigned 'pp'd' letter was issued at Mike Hardy's behest - was sent the same day to my UK home address by snail-mail. It gave no reason at all for terminating my contract ... and to date none has ever been provided. The UK then passed its Data Protection Act and then a Freedom of Information Act so that I was subsequently able to piece the internal correspondence about this together. It emerged that my dismissal had been sought after I declined to submit to improper pressures by Sky (Hardy's Jerusalem-based side-kick) to by-pass the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Finance in agreeing changes to a UK DfID/Palestinian agreement signed by President Arafat and HM Consul General Robin Kealey on which the ink was barely dry. I refused to go along with this pressure - applied by Sky in a meeting inside an office surrounded by armed troops in Gaza in front of Palestinians - and her e-mail recommending my removal was issued not just before I had an opportunity to report but while I was still in The Gaza Strip (not a family duty station ....) To date British Council has refused to meet with me to explain their actions ... when I went down to the British Council HQ in London their lawyer slammed the phone down ... only appearing in reception an hour later after reception staff contacted the CEO's office .... They then orchestrated a coverup when I contacted Trustees and UK DfID and MPs ... I know that because my line manager - the guy they made resign after 5 days - courageously passed on the copy of the 'gagging' letter Hardy issued to all work witnesses and staff .... the redacted papers released
also confirmed suspicions about serious financial irregularities as well as bullying ... one described me as being 'bonkers - it's official' and there were a lot more The guy orchestrating this is now the Head of Intercultural Dialogue at British Council as I say and as such has I guess got some 'global' oversight of intercultural dialogue in Nigeria as well. So 'they have form' - as we say in English. That is certain.

neil robertson

This is the big boss man at British Council in the area of 'intercultural dialogue'. Maybe the Nigerian court should invited him in for cross-examination too in
this case? They could do that by video-conference
from the nearest French Institute I'm sure as even
oil-rich countries like Nigeria need to watch how
many British Airways Club Class labels they allow
to be pinned to bags of British Council big-wigs:

http://www.britishcouncil.org/new/press-office/spokespeople/mike-hardy/

neil robertson

Blog reminiscence about this incident by the only line-manager named on my Terms of Reference for Gaza:

http://kjohnsonnz.blogspot.com/2009/11/from-new-york-times-november-2009.html

neil robertson

Subsequent career of British Council bully Emma Sky:

http://www.iop.harvard.edu/Programs/Fellows-Study-Groups/Current-Fellows/Emma_Sky

Note the reference to her being a 'Security Advisor' at The British Council (?????) and her consultancy work with them in a range of countries including Nigeria
after she and Hardy kicked the appointed staff off
the UK DfID Public Administration Institutional Development Project in Palestine and 'skyjacked' it for Mr Hardy and herself. They immediately asked UK DfID for a further £200K increase in the £1.9m budget which had just been approved .... but after
Palestinian Ministers questioned the lack of any visible progress on the ground - raising the issue with HM Consul General in East Jerusalem - the HMG Robin Kealey (later an Ambassador in Tunis) raised the alarm and the project was suspended
(at least until he moved to another FCO posting!)
A memo released back to me under the FOI from UK DfID files but prepared by British Council Nov 2000 also confirms that the project Sky and Hardy were both promoting and defending (and for which the budget increase was sought) was 'non-existent'
[their words not mine]. That confirmed both Dr Johnson's and my own suspicions prior to our removal. NB The UK DfID Fraud Desk is briefed.

neil robertson

The French embassy in Abuja can probably advise the court officials locally on video-conferencing facilities:

http://www.ecolefrancaiseabuja.org/presentation.htm

Neil Robertson

Recently declassified evidence given by Emma Sky to The Chilcott Enquiry describing her transition from a position in British Council to Governor of Kirkuk and Political Advisor to US General Odienro after an email and a phone-call inviting her to get on a plane at RAF Brize Norton without any prior briefing or even a TOR:

http://www.iraqinquiry.org.uk/media/52057/Sky-2011-01-14-S1-declassified.pdf

Neil Robertson

Another web sighting of the seemingly ubiquitous former British Council 'security advisor' Emma Sky who was addressed throughout her private evidence session in Jan 2011 to Sir John Chilcott's Iraq Inquiry (recently declassified) as 'Ms Emma Sky'. Popping up again in Tunisia Sky is now - it seems - portraying herself as a 'Baroness' and signing blog articles as 'Lady Sky' just as former boss US General Odierno awaits US Senate confirmation hearings on being nominated as Head of US Army. The words 'toxic cluelessness' used of Sky's view on Iraq spring to mind yet again. There is no record of Sky being given a seat in The House of Lords - though she was awarded an MBE and then an OBE under the curious arrangement whereby The British Council makes its own in-house recommenations for the Diplomatic (sic) & Overseas honours lists without apparently involvement of the FCO's Honours Unit.

http://ricks.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/06/14/travels_with_lady_emma_post_revolutionary_tunisia_may_be_a_bit_shaky_but_it_still_f

Neil Robertson

Former British Council official Emma Sky's support article for her associate US General Ray Odierno:

http://ricks.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/06/01/how_odierno_will_do_as_army_chief

Sam

This Emma Sky woman is obviously such a fraud, calling herself a baroness and "Lady Sky" when, in fact, she's just Ms Emma Sky.

Who in their right mind would lie about something that's so blatantly false?

The fact that she'd falsely claim to be a baroness, or be married to a baron, or the daughter of a peer calls into question her motivations, judgement and moral character.

Neil Robertson

Update on proceedings in Abuja: http://allafrica.com/stories/201201310821.html

Neil Robertson

Useful case study and advice - from a Nigerian lawyer

http://www.ventures-africa.com/2012/03/administrative-injustice-unlawful-dismissals-and-the-right-to-fair-hearings/

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