Osborne refuse to rule out candidate sacked by Amec over conflict of interest.

Stephen Bowcott, the former Amec construction manager who was sacked for giving PR work to his wife’s firm, is still in the race to become chief executive of regional contractor Geoffrey Osborne.

Osborne had intended to offer Bowcott the job as a replacement for Nick Yandle, who left in September.

But his sacking last summer over allegations of an undeclared conflict of interest, when he gave up to £250,000 of PR contracts to a firm owned by Denise Johnstone, who he married last June, was reported to have given Osborne cold feet over the appointment.

However, a spokesman for the firm told Building that Bowcott may yet be named to the chief executive role, although the firm was also currently considering a “fresh pool of candidates”.

He said: “Bowcott has issues to resolve with Amec, but we can’t rule him in and we can’t rule him out.”

Andrew Osborne, the son of the Sussex firm’s founder, is acting chief executive. The spokesman said that his replacement would be announced in the coming weeks.

A 10-day hearing into Bowcott’s dismissal is due to be heard at Manchester Employment Tribunal from 24 April.