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Brexiteer sacked by Dominic Cummings said she was ‘never given a reason’ for firing

Dominic Cummings, senior aide to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, answers questions from the media on Monday. Jonathan Brady/PA Wire - Credit: PA

A former pro-Brexit Conservative aide marched out of Downing Street by armed police after being sacked by Dominic Cummings has said she was “never given a reason” for her dismissal.

Sonia Khan, who was fired as a special adviser to then chancellor Sajid Javid in August 2019 over the alleged leaking of secrets surrounding no-deal Brexit planning, said she took legal action against the government to stop it happening to others.

During an angry confrontation in No 10, Cummings was reported to have accused her of being in contact with allies of her former boss, Philip Hammond, who was chancellor under Theresa May – claims she denied.

She subsequently announced she was taking the Government to an employment tribunal, claiming unfair dismissal and sex discrimination. The government agreed to settle the case at the end of last year.

In an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, Khan said she was never told what she had allegedly done wrong.

“I was called in for a meeting that I wasn’t expecting, and then I think much of that has been reported in the media rightly or wrongly, so I don’t want to get sort of too into that.

“But I think the main thing to point out on my end was that I was never given a reason about why what happened happened, and that for me was the sort of trigger to take the action that I did, which is the legal action that I’m referring to today.

“Nobody ever said it was because you did X, Y or Z – I know there were lots of reports in the media but none of that was ever put to me.

“I remember at that time feeling quite strongly that if I’m not given a reason and if there’s a chance that this can happen again, it sets a really bad standard and a precedent.

“Especially for a lot of the advisers who were coming into that government who were really young at the time, so I felt like I had a real responsibility to them.”

Back in 2019, former chancellor Philip Hammond told BBC Radio: “It’s extraordinary that Dominic Cummings should have chosen to pick on her. She ironically is a very firm Brexiteer.

“If she went to an employment tribunal, I suspect she would win her case.”

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