As the former Agricultural Minister, Richard Lochhead, spends more time with his family after revealing his wife is battling cancer; the original whistleblower into the CAP system debacle has spoken out about the inhumane treatment of dedicated contractors who were dismissed by Prabhu – the Delivery Director.
John Dunning refers to his diary and recalls the first sacking to make way for Spectromax domination :
I had worked with Keith on previous projects and he was a nice guy. He had a dry sense of humour and at lunch time about 10 or 15 of us would sit together and there was good banter. It was a very friendly environment.
In November I noticed a change in Keith’s behaviour in that he stopped sitting with the group at lunch times. He still got on well with everybody as individuals but had taken to sitting alone for lunch.
On the third or fourth occasion I decided to speak with him about it and asked if everything was alright. Ironically, at the time Scottish Government was displaying posters about caring for colleagues and spotting signs of depression.
Keith’s wife was dying. It was terminal and he was working away from home during the week to pay for her care. At weekends he went home and cared for her himself – but it was tough.
I offered any support I could but particularly offered to help him find a counsellor in Scotland who he could talk to. That was on the Wednesday.
On the Friday he was fired for ‘not working weekends’.
I was working in J Spur and Keith was two rows of tables in front of me, near the exit. A CGI manager came in and tapped him on the shoulder. Keith was then paraded through the whole office into a side room.
A few minutes later they were back out and Keith was clearing his desk.
I remember clearly – I was over like a shot to find out what the hell was going on. He had been let go because he had refused to work weekends.
There was no phone reception in the Spur – we could only get reception in the corridors – so I went out into the corridor to phone my agency – ironically the same agency as Keith and see what they knew.
What I saw and and heard whilst standing in that corridor was appalling and later formed part of my statement to the police.
Dominic Prabhu was standing in the corridor in his infamous bomber jacket and had a list of all the people working on the project. He and the CGI manager pored over it (I forget his name, but we came to name him The Reaper because if he tapped you on the shoulder, you were gone). Dominic’s finger stopped on another name. He took out his phone and called somebody whom he addressed as Ian (later identified as Ian Norman). He then turned back to the Reaper, told him that Ian had approved it, and sent him back in to sack the next person.
This continued, one by one, throughout the day.
On the Monday a Tier 2 migrant who had come via Dominic’s agency Spectromax was sitting in Keith’s chair and was doing his work.
I kept in touch with Keith.
His wife died a few months later.