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Man denied job at UK spy agency loses tribunal claim

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A man has lost an employment tribunal, in which he claimed he had been denied a job at the UK’s surveillance agency because of his strong religious beliefs.

Charles Storey, a devout Christian, had applied for a role at GCHQ and during a gruelling interview process he admitted that he would put his loyalty to God before loyalty to the state.

In 2009, he was informed that he was not a suitable candidate for the position and refused security clearance.

Having failed to be offered the job at the agency’s listening station in Cheltenham, Mr Storey subsequently launched an appeal, claiming his admission had counted against him.

The religious and disability discrimination claim argued that Mr Storey’s previous recreational drug use – he had suffered a psychotic episode as a young man – had been another factor in GCHQ’s decision.

Now however, an Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has ruled that neither the 44-year-old’s religious beliefs nor the historic substance abuse were the reasons he hadn’t been offered the job.

Having considered the evidence, which due to security reasons had partly been heard in private, Mrs Justice Simler dismissed Mr Storey’s appeal.

But the computer forensics specialist has suggested he will now take his case to the European Court of Human Rights.