Greenwich Council sacks employee - for writing Lewisham Hospital letter to News Shopper

News Shopper: Onay Kasab from Unite is defending Mr Cordwell Onay Kasab from Unite is defending Mr Cordwell

GREENWICH Council has sacked the chief reporter on its weekly publication - for the grave crime of writing a letter about Lewisham Hospital to his local paper.

Peter Cordwell, who lives in Lee, was sacked over the phone just hours after his letter praising the Lewisham campaign appeared in the pages of News Shopper and the Mercury.

The award-winning journalist, who has worked on Greenwich Time since 2001, also wrote in the letter of the need to oppose zero hours contracts and the closure of fire stations.

Union Unite, which is supporting Mr Cordwell, said the former sports journalist was himself employed on a zero hours contract - despite the council repeating its recent claims that it does not use them.

Onay Kasab from Unite said: "It's plain insanity and looks like petty vindictiveness.

"We've got somebody who works for a Labour council congratulating another Labour council for taking the government to court and winning. To sack him is ridiculous."

News Shopper: Peter Cordwell's letter appeared this week

Mr Kasab said the dismissal proved the dangers of zero hours contracts - where work is not guaranteed.

He said: "They can just turn around and say, there's no work for you here now.

"It's an irony that the statement the council previously issued about zero hours contracts came from the same council press office which sacked him."

Mr Cordwell, who wrote his letter in a personal capacity about the borough where he lives, appears to have fallen foul of Greenwich Council's authoritarian leadership, which uses its newspaper to maintain tight control over communications.

Labour councillors and workers are discouraged from speaking to other newspapers, and there was a marked silence from the leadership when Lewisham Hospital's downgrade was proposed - even when thousands of protestors marched through the streets against the plans.

A spokeswoman for Greenwich Council said: "This person is a freelance journalist who was contracted to contribute to Greenwich Time.

"The council does not use zero hour contracts and we cannot comment any further on the circumstances or details of any individual's work or contract with the Royal Borough of Greenwich."

Comments (2)

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10:07am Fri 23 Aug 13

Virtual-Monster says...

I think the Lewisham Hospital issue really shows Rancid Roberts and his gutless cohorts in their true colours.

Greenwich Councillors were collectively silent about the potential impact of the downgrading of Lewisham hospital services would have on the already overstretched and barely fit for purpose Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Like cowards they allowed Lewisham Council and its residents to take the fight to the Government alone.

Now that the Governments decision has been found to be corrupt and Lewisham Hospital (at least for the meantime) has had its facilities saved, Greenwich Councillors and Rancid Roberts in particular are embarrassed by Lewisham's success in fighting the Government whilst Greenwich sat on the side-lines and did nothing.

It appears that Peter Cordwell is just another victim of the notoriously short tempered and spiteful Rancid Roberts and the sheep he surrounds himself with.
I think the Lewisham Hospital issue really shows Rancid Roberts and his gutless cohorts in their true colours. Greenwich Councillors were collectively silent about the potential impact of the downgrading of Lewisham hospital services would have on the already overstretched and barely fit for purpose Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Like cowards they allowed Lewisham Council and its residents to take the fight to the Government alone. Now that the Governments decision has been found to be corrupt and Lewisham Hospital (at least for the meantime) has had its facilities saved, Greenwich Councillors and Rancid Roberts in particular are embarrassed by Lewisham's success in fighting the Government whilst Greenwich sat on the side-lines and did nothing. It appears that Peter Cordwell is just another victim of the notoriously short tempered and spiteful Rancid Roberts and the sheep he surrounds himself with. Virtual-Monster

8:26pm Fri 23 Aug 13

j.j. says...

How can someone who works for the Pravda assume that his employer is sympathetic with the principle of freedom of speech? Only a fool who works for Roberts would open his mouth against the party line.
How can someone who works for the Pravda assume that his employer is sympathetic with the principle of freedom of speech? Only a fool who works for Roberts would open his mouth against the party line. j.j.

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