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Sacked Chef Hijacks Employer's Twitter Account
A sacked pub chef has used his former employer's Twitter account to post a series of angry messages.
But bosses at The Plough pub in Oxfordshire say they had no choice but to dismiss him because he refused to work on Christmas Day - one of their busiest days of the year.
They also said his claim that the pub bought cheap meat and passed it off as premium was "outrageous and untrue".
At 7pm on Sunday, a message appeared on The Plough's account saying: "Happy Christmas everyone".
But that was followed by several messages claiming head chef Jim Knight had been sacked for asking for three days off this month, including the key Christmas Day shift.
The first read: "We'd like to inform you that we've just fired our head chef.
"Unfortunately he wanted to have a weekend off this month and Christmas Day this year for family commitments so we thought we'd sack him. Yeah, a week before Christmas!
"We don't care that he has a 7½-month-old baby daughter."
It was followed by a derogatory comment about the source of the produce used by the pub, saying supermarket meat was passed off as premium cuts.
The pub, in Great Haseley, Oxfordshire, gained hundreds of new followers on Twitter as the controversial messages were retweeted more than 1,000 times each.
A spokesman for The Plough said Mr Knight had informed bosses he would not be working Christmas Day and other Sundays in the near future, breaking an understanding reached when he was first employed.
Landlord Steve Potts said he was left with "little choice" but to dismiss him, as all of the pub's chefs have to work on Sundays and Christmas Day.
He also said the claim about the pub's produce was "outrageous and untrue".
"Our suppliers are transparent: our meat is fresh, never frozen, and comes from Booker's in High Wycombe and from a local farmer called Peter Vogt."
He added: "I've been in this business 25 years and have a lot of contacts who have been asking me on an ongoing basis if there is a position available, as this is a fantastic pub to work for.
"Since the villagers bought it out two years ago, it's been renovated to a wonderful standard, the kitchen facilities are second to none and it must be one of the most beautiful villages in the country."
He added that Mr Knight's dismissal would not affect the Christmas Day food service.
A message posted on Mr Knight's own Twitter account read: "It's my daughter's first Christmas. I wouldn't miss that for ANYTHING.
"Thank you for the kind words. I had no idea this would escalate so quickly. See you in the job centre tomorrow. X"
It was followed by: "I would like to make it CRYSTAL CLEAR I have not "hacked" any account. I created the account with permission of my ex-employers. Night x."