An award-winning chef fired by the City bank Lehman Brothers for sending pornographic emails has claimed that "catering people are a lot more broadminded".

Bruce Sangster was dismissed in January after nine years as executive chef at the investment bank's European headquarters in London. During that time he was named National Chef of the Year by the Craft Guild of Chefs.

Sangster told an employment tribunal: "My composition work has brought me into contact with many top chefs and they usually share a taste for crude humour.

"On occasion one or other of my friends from outside the company would email me jokes or amusing pictures. I would describe these as bawdy chefs' humour and, although they were often crude and sexual in nature, I would not describe them as pornographic because they were clearly designed to amuse, rather than to arouse."

Sangster said that he was unaware Lehman Brothers had a zero tolerance policy on such communications.

On Wednesday the tribunal heard that Lehman Brothers had sometimes hired strippers to entertain kitchen staff.

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