A FORMER finance director at Prestwick Airport who claims he was sacked after exposing allegations of fraud, bribery and collusion at the site has lost his fight to keep his job.

Derek Banks claims he told bosses about potential corruption within the state-owned airport’s procurement process and was dismissed soon after for blowing the whistle.

He has launched an employment tribunal against the airport and had applied for permission to keep his job until a full hearing on his case takes place.

READ MORE: Former Prestwick Airport boss Derek Banks claims he was sacked for whistleblowing

However, employment judge Shona MacLean has refused his request, saying: “I could not say that [Mr Banks] has a pretty good chance of showing that the sole or principal reason for his dismissal was the making of protected disclosures.

“I therefore refuse the application.”

HeraldScotland:

Mr Banks 50, from East Kilbride, has lodged claims with the tribunal for unfair dismissal and being treated unfairly for making a public interest disclosure.

He claims he told bosses about an issue with a third party acting on behalf of the airport – Halcion Ltd – and Breedon Aggregates, a company bidding for runway resurfacing work.

His allegations included that the two companies had an existing relationship which they kept secret and that Halcion had sought bids for work at the airport that went beyond what was actually needed.

In a written judgment, Judge MacLean found that it was likely Mr Banks could show that his involvement in the Halcion/Breedon situation amounted to a protected disclosure.

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She said: “The disclosure of the Halcion/Breedon procurement issue  disclosed facts and information which the claimant reasonably believed amounted to a criminal offence and was in the public interest.

"I considered that the claimant had a pretty good chance of establishing that the Halcion/Breedon procurement issue was a qualifying disclosure.”

However, the judge went on to say that Mr Banks could struggle when it came to showing that this potential disclosure contributed to his dismissal.

HeraldScotland:

Judge MacLean said that the airport’s chief executive Stewart Adams, who took the decision to sack Mr Banks, “did not have anything to fear from the issues that [Mr Banks] was raising”.

Mr Adams took up the post of interim chief executive after the alleged corruption was said to have taken place and six months before Mr Banks was dismissed.

The judgment states: “The Halcion/Breedon procurement issue was ongoing when Mr Adams joined the business. In my view he was involved in meetings with third parties investigating the matter and encouraged [Mr Banks] to report developments. There was no suggestion that the issues raised by [Mr Banks] involved Mr Adams.”

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The airport claimed that Mr Banks was dismissed due to his performance and a lack of engagement. The judge also found that further claims by Mr Banks were not likely to be found to be protected disclosures.

A full tribunal hearing on Mr Banks’s claims will take place later.