Watchdog launches probe into Pontins over racial discrimation concerns

Watchdog launches probe into Pontins over concerns about racial discrimination against travellers. Credit Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0

A formal investigation has been launched today by the Equalities Watchdog into the holiday park firm to consider whether Pontins broke the Equality Act 2010. The probe is expected to last for months.

Pontins has been accused of banning 40 customers with common Irish surnames to stop suspected traveller families booking holidays at its parks according to Powys County Times.

The UK’s equality watchdog has launched a formal probe into Pontins amid claims of racial discrimination against gypsies and travellers, it came after a whistleblower revealed it was using an “undesirable guests” list to exclude Gypsies and Travellers and was operating a discriminatory booking policy.

The whistleblower said that Pontins told staff to monitor calls and refuse or cancel bookings made by people with an Irish accent or surname, while Pontins’ commercial vehicle policy excluded Gypsies and Travellers from its holiday parks.

Last year, the Equalities and Human Rights Commission signed a 12-month legally-binding agreement with Pontins’ parent company Britannia Jinky Jersey Limited to prevent racial discrimination.

But the watchdog cancelled the agreement in February amid suspicions that Pontins has not taken ‘required steps’ to quash discrimination.

Investigators will explore whether Pontins has committed race discrimination against gypsy and traveller guests, prospective guests or their associates in how it provides its services.

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Anna Ellis

Originally from the UK, Anna is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at