Lollipop man from Harlesden sacked by Camden Council for racially abusing black employee

Jon Seymour. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

Jon Seymour. Picture: Nigel Sutton. - Credit: Nigel Sutton

A lollipop man from Harlesden has been fired by Camden Council following allegations he racially abused a black town hall employee.

Trinidadian-born Jon Seymour, who lives in Craven Park, was sacked last week after claims he called a black member of staff ‘King Kong’ during a row.

Mr Seymour had been suspended from his job at a school in Kentish Town since the allegation was made last July.

He had held the post since 1994 until he was dismissed for gross misconduct.

Mr Seymour said the row was sparked after he was asked to quieten down by a council officer having entered the reception of the Town Hall while speaking loudly on his mobile phone.

He claims the officer interrupted his conversation before he was escorted from the building by two security officers.

Denying he had racially abused the employee, he said : “It was not racial. I said he was angry like King Kong. No one looks like King Kong. “I apologised to him and we shook hands after, but Camden wanted to take it further for some reason.”

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He was also accused of breaching the code of conduct for bringing his suspension to the attention of the press through a story published last year.

Dismissing Mr Seymour with immediate effect, Louise McBride, chairman of the hearing, said: “I am satisfied on the basis of the information obtained during the investigation that this complaint is upheld on the basis that your behaviour was both physically and verbally aggressive and threatening and that you used insulting language.”

Mr Seymour said he plans to appeal the decision, adding: “I’m not going to leave it lying, I want people to know what Camden is about.

“I think what they did to me was wrong. I’ve been there almost 20 years and never had a warning. I haven’t had any problems with anyone else.”

A council spokesman said: “Camden has a code of conduct which sets out how staff are

expected to behave towards the public and other members of staff. We can confirm that a member of staff was dismissed from the council for gross misconduct.

“We are unable to comment further at this stage as the dismissal may be subject to an appeal to elected members.”