Northern Ireland

Animal charity USPCA sacks high-profile chief Stephen Philpott over 'gross misconduct'

Stephen Philpott
Image caption Stephen Philpott was suspended in March after an independent investigation of his management

The head of a major Northern Ireland animal welfare charity has been sacked "on grounds of gross misconduct".

The Ulster Society for Prevention Cruelty to Animals (USPCA) said the dismissal of its chief executive Stephen Philpott "related to aspects of his management of the charity".

It said its decision came after an independent review of his management.

Mr Philpott, a high-profile figure, was regularly outspoken on issues of animal cruelty in Northern Ireland.

Difficult

He was suspended in March after what the USPCA described as a "comprehensive" review of his leadership.

It added that the review was followed by a "full disciplinary hearing and exhaustive appeal process".

"An interim manager has been in place for a number of months and will continue to work closely with the board as they look at the management structure of the organisation going forward," it said in a statement.

Helen Wilson, the charity's chair, said its day-to-day work continued and staff had "remained exemplary during a very difficult time".

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