White Royal Navy admiral sues government for being paid £52,000 less than black woman in same job

A RETIRED admiral is suing the home secretary for racial discrimination after discovering a black female colleague was paid £52,000 a year more to do the same job.

Thursday, 18th February 2021, 12:49 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th February 2021, 9:24 pm

Police watchdog Matthew Parr was appointed by former home secretary Amber Rudd as one of only five HM inspectors of constabulary in 2016 on an annual salary of £133,893.

But the former Rear-Admiral has since launched a sex and race discrimination case against Priti Patel after learning fellow inspector Wendy Williams, who is black, was hired on £185,791 just 15 months earlier.

Civil servant Mr Parr said the Home Office had treated him differently as a white male, according to an employment tribunal in London.

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Retired Rear-Admiral Matthew Parr, left, who is now one of five HM Inspectors overseeing major police forces, alongside colleague, Wendy Williams. Mr Parr is suing the government after finding out Mrs Williams was paid £52,000 more than him to do the same job.

The pair both oversee UK police forces, including the Met Police, National Crime Agency and British Transport Police.

But Mr Parr – who, as an admiral, opened up an upgraded fitness suite at HMS Temeraire in Portsmouth in 2013 – found out he earned less than a deputy assistant commission in the Met, despite his role overseeing it.

He said: ‘I am a white man. I recognise I am not the typical claimant in cases of equal pay and discrimination.

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‘I also recognise I am paid a relatively high salary. Were all HMIs to be paid the salary currently paid to me I would be satisfied. The only difference between her treatment and mine is that she was placed at the top of the band, rather than at the bottom.

‘This is a question of fairness. I am a white male — my race and sex had a clear influence in the first and later decisions on my pay.

‘It is also a policy that was influenced by race and sex. It was only revised as a consequence of Wendy Williams’ favourable treatment.’

Home secretary Priti Patel denies discrimination.

Her barrister Ben Collins QC said there was no established policy when Ms Williams was appointed, but Mr Parr was ‘the first person after the policy was put in place’.

He added: ‘If Mr Parr had been a black woman, he would have received the same response.’

During his time with the navy, Mr Parr served on vessels above and below the water.

He was the former commander of frigate HMS Montrose and the ex-head of the submarine service.

He is listed as the chairman of the Royal Navy Rugby Union’s board of trustees – a sporting institution based in Portsmouth.

Central London employment judge Richard Nicolle said a decision would be given on Mr Parr’s case in the next few weeks.

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