A FORMER job centre worker in Blackburn - who was disciplined over a series of online messages directed at Donald Trump and Tommy Robinson - is set to receive a £38,000 plus payout from his old employers.

An anonymous tip-off from a member of the public sparked an investigation by the Department of Work and Pensions into the Twitter account of work coach Ayub Patel.

While the probe was ongoing, Mr Patel insisted his own tweets, which also targeted the former columnist Katie Hopkins, were directed at 'Islamophobic' public figures.

But his bosses believed he had contributed to his own downfall by failing to follow the civil service code on how to behave on social media.

One of the officials who conducted his disciplinary proceedings said his comments could be regarded as "tasteless, offensive and political" though it was accepted he was not racist.

Mr Patel's claim for unfair dismissal, heard by a Manchester employment tribunal, succeeded in part, though his compensation award was reduced by 50 per cent as his actions were said to have had a bearing on his departure.

Employment judge Carol Porter said: "The comments made by the claimant on his public Twitter account were offensive, some were derogatory of the current government, and showed allegiance to a particular political party.

"They were, as he admitted, (a) breach of the standards of behaviour and civil service code."

But the judge accepted Mr Patel, who had worked for the service for 16 years, had been acting under a "genuine misunderstanding" regarding his responsibilities on social media.

A further hearing, also held in Manchester, rejected applications to reinstate the employee, or re-engage him to undertake similar work with the department.

Judge Porter ruled that he was entitled to compensation totalling £25,646 and a basic award of £5,990. For his breach of contract claim, he was given £7,109.

The tribunal found that Mr Patel was sacked not because his tweets were about high-profile political figures, but because they broke the civil service code of conduct by revealing his political sympathies.

When questioned by managers, he told them his social media account did not identify that he worked for the Department of Work and Pensions.