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Claire Perry says assistant did not have the right skills
9:19am Friday 27th July 2012 in News
Devizes MP Claire Perry is being taken to an industrial tribunal by one of her closest friends whom she sacked as her assistant.
Penelope Nurick, who was one of Mrs Perry’s seconders when she stood as a Conservative candidate in Devizes at the 2010 general election, is claiming that she was unfairly dismissed by the MP who had given her a job in her Westminster office.
The hearing is due to take place in Bristol later this month.
Mrs Perry claims that Ms Nurick did not have the skills required for the job.
Mrs Perry said: “It is a very sad situation. Nothing could be sadder as we were close friends. Her son was even an intern here.
“There was a redundancy of a very valued member of staff and she has now decided to take this to a tribunal.
"As an MP, I have a fixed budget and it meant I could not keep her on.
“Staff changes in my Westminster office meant that her job was absorbed within a broader policy and management job for which she did not have the skills or experience. She was therefore made redundant.”
Mrs Perry, who is the parliamentary private secretary to Defence Secretary Philip Hammond, added: “She was offered other work within my local office, which she declined to accept.
"Mrs Nurick was very upset as a result of this decision.
“It is a matter of huge regret to me that we have not been able to reach an agreement as she was both an extremely valuable employee and a friend.
" I hope very much that some sort of agreement can be found.”