Foreign Office leaker alleges unfair dismissal after BBC journalist accidentally reveals his identity

Josie Stewart arrives for a hearing in central London at the Foreign Office Whistleblowers’ Employment Tribunal. The hearing will decide whether Stewart’s testimony contains material that would be covered by parliamentary privilege and is therefore inadmissible. Photo date: Wednesday September 20, 2023. 73793960 (Press Association via AP Images)

Former employee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Josie Stewart fight against his dismissal from his position at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs after a BBC Newsnight The journalist tweeted screenshots of the emails she had leaked and inadvertently revealed her identity.

Stewart said she was “stupid and naive” in failing to redact herself from government emails shared with the reporter, but that she doesn’t think she “did the wrong thing.”

The screenshots were from sensitive emails criticizing the government’s handling of the 2021 evacuation of Kabul in Afghanistan, as Taliban fighters closed in on the city.

The leaked emails highlighted an intervention by the then Prime Minister. Boris Johnsonwhich would have overturned existing policies to facilitate the evacuation of animals and charity staff from the Kabul-based animal charity Nowzad, sidelining interpreters and other key personnel

staff. Stewart initially shared these concerns and emails anonymously with Newsnight.

Stewart now claims she was unfairly dismissed under the Employment Rights Act 1996, in a case which sparked debates over the right of civil servants to disclose information of public interest.

The ongoing tribunal is expected to conclude on May 20.