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RPS decision to remove Dajani from EPB was absolute disgrace, says ex-treasurer

John Jolley 1280.jpg

RPS decision to remove Dajani from EPB was absolute disgrace, says ex-treasurer

By Neil Trainis

The former treasurer and council member of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain John Jolley has criticised pharmacy’s professional leadership body over its expulsion of Sultan ‘Sid’ Dajani from the English Pharmacy Board over three years ago.

In an interview with Independent Community Pharmacist, Jolley (pictured) described the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s decision to remove Dajani from his place on the Board and suspend his RPS membership in July 2018 as “an absolute disgrace.”

Dajani, who was elected to the Board only a couple of months earlier, was barred from entering the RPS' East Smithfield headquarters before it had officially started investigating complaints against him which included inappropriate comments on social media, inappropriate behaviour towards an RPS senior executive and inaccurate, fraudulent expenses claims.

Dajani was accused of dishonestly altering 16 taxi receipts worth a total of £94 over an eight-year period, a claim he vigorously denied. In June 2019, the General Pharmaceutical Council said none of the charges met the threshold for referral to its investigating committee.

Jolley, who served as treasurer at the RPSGB for three years and left membership of the RPS in 2019 after 51 years, insisted he would have strongly defended Dajani against accusations that he had altered taxi receipts and lodged inaccurate, fraudulent expenses claims and would have pushed for the charges to be thrown out if he had still been treasurer at the time. 

“This argument with Sid about his expenses, I’ve never seen anything as ridiculous,” Jolley said. “Unfortunately, Sid’s experiences on his expenses occurred after I had left as treasurer. If I had been treasurer, I wouldn’t have hesitated to have pushed to have quashed that at an early stage.”

Jolley said the RPS’s treatment of Dajani was not behind his decision to relinquish his membership but it was “a contributory factor” in deciding not to take up membership again.

“To be honest with you I don’t quite see, even if I did get membership back, what I could do (for Dajani) because I would be a sole voice in a highly politicised group,” Jolley said.

“The Society seemed to be fixated on one particular group and the views of certain individuals seemed to be prominent rather than for the benefit of the profession. Without a doubt (Dajani) has been shoddily treated. On the basis of what they are arguing about, the issues they’re quoting were very contentious.

"Sid was in the habit of giving a tip to the taxi driver and including the tip in his expenses claims. The amount of money they were accusing him of falsely accumulating was totally irrelevant to the scale of the operation that they went through.

“I don’t know whether his final expulsion was purely down to the expenses issue or whether there was some other issue that I’m not aware of. It is an absolute disgrace because at the time, I did pass one or two comments when I was still a member but I was only a lonely member at that time.”

Jolley also said he supported and signed an online petition recently launched by Dajani calling for greater transparency at the RPS.

The RPS refused to respond to Jolley’s remarks when contacted by ICP.

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