By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw
The Chief Executive of the Jockey Club, Delia Bushell, has suddenly resigned amidst allegations of bullying, racism and the dissemination of offensive comments.
She has only been in the position since September last year.
The Jockey Club was founded in 1750, owns and operates 15 UK racecourses, which include Aintree, Cheltenham, New Market and Epsom Downs, and has annual revenues of some £215 million.
An independent investigation, conducted by an unnamed Barrister, has found grounds for the Jockey Club dismissing her for gross misconduct, including, it is alleged, tampering with witnesses, all of which making her position untenable.
Bushell expressed her “shock and sadness” and claimed that the investigation was “flawed and biased” and added:
“Given the toxicity of the working environment I find myself working in, the predetermination of the disciplinary and the clear and ongoing threats to my reputation, I have no choice but to accept the repudiatory conduct ……. and to resign with immediate effect.”
Bushell is also a Director of the England and Wales Cricket Board and the Board of the Commonwealth Games England, which are reviewing the situation. Neither of these sports bodies, so far, has made any comments on her future in them.
Is this a case of constructive dismissal or is there more to it than that?