Union calls for suspension of Chief Fire Officer during investigation into website postings

The Fire Brigades Union has called for Merseyside Fire Authority to investigate the source of website postings detailing the content of national talks aimed at settling the Merseyside dispute. The union says the content, timing and source of the postings points to the possibility that Chief Fire Officer Tony McGuirk, who was at the hotel in London where the talks were taking place, was directly involved.

Mark Dunne, Brigade Chair of Merseyside Fire Brigades Union said: 

“Our understanding is that within minutes of us breaking at lunchtime there was a detailed posting on the UK-fire website outlining the content of the talks and attacking Les Skarratts one of our Merseyside officials. The source of the posting has been traced to Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority so it could not have been someone on strike.

“Tony McGuirk, although not directly involved in the talks, was at the hotel where they were taking place and was being briefed about their content. We believe he is one of the prime suspects as the person to have either directly or to have been the guiding hand behind placing the posting on this website.

“The website posting has caused genuine anger and seriously undermined the talks which were at a delicate stage. We believe, as would and should be the case for any of his staff, that Mr McGuirk be suspended pending an investigation into what we believe is unacceptable conduct.”

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