Royal Navy accused of racism over Mugabe nickname

A black recruiting officer has accused the Royal Navy of racism after colleagues nicknamed him Robert Mugabe, a tribunal heard.

By Richard Savill

Chief Petty Officer Andrew Antrobus, 48, told the hearing he complained to his senior officers when he was introduced as Andy AKA Robert Mugabe at a meeting.

The experienced sailor was manager of the recruiting office in Redruth, Cornwall, where he worked with colleagues from the other services.

He claimed colleagues used the Mugabe nickname after he was appointed to the post of office manager and started running a stricter regime.

He had previously complained about an army sergeant who referred to some recruits as "black bastards", an employment tribunal in Exeter was told.

The married father is claiming racial discrimination against the Ministry of Defence, a Navy colleague Chief Petty Officer John Pinsent, and line manager Warrant Officer Robert Ewen. All three deny the claim.

CPO Antrobus said CPO Pinsent repeatedly called him Mugabe, including introducing him by the name, and WO Ewen failed to act on his complaints.

The Navy claims CPO Antrobus invented the nickname for himself as a joke about his management style and had no problems being compared to the Zimbabwean president at the time.

CPO Antrobus said: "I never used that name and I certainly don’t want to be associated with that name or that person.

"I informed Mr Pinsent on numerous occasions to stop and he would do so for a couple of days or weeks and then would start again."

CPO Antrobus denied that he used to refer to the other members of the office as ‘the white boys’.

The tribunal continues.

Daily Telegraph

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