THE Brighouse choirmaster sacked by Bradford Cathedral following two complaints of inappropriate behaviour is fighting to clear his name.

Alan Horsey, aged 47, of Lane Ends Green, Hipperholme, was dismissed after an investigation by Bradford Diocesan registrar and the cathedral's child protection officer.

Mr Horsey served as the Cathedral choirmaster and principal organist for 16 years and helped guide former head chorister Gareth Gates on the road to pop stardom.

Mr Horsey was due to discuss the case with his solicitor Mr Bill Hudson yesterday.

It is thought he may claim unfair dismissal and demand compensation.

Mr Hudson said his client felt aggrieved at what he considered to be his heavy-handed sacking.

Mr Horsey was suspended on full pay for nearly five months and lodged an unsuccessful appeal against the Cathedral's judgment to dismiss him.

Mr Hudson is now involved in discussions with the diocese about the matter. "We are talking about the whole process that has gone on," he explained.

"There has also been a meeting at the Cathedral between certain members of the congregation and the Cathedral."

Around 85 church-goers attended the meeting. Some of them, said Mr Hudson, were worshippers backing Mr Horsey.

News of the sacking was broken to the congregation in a statement read out at Sunday's services.

"This has been an extremely difficult time," said the dean of Bradford Cathedral, The Very Reverend Dr Christopher Hancock. "I hope very much you will understand the need for the chapter to act circumspectly and confidentially."

He called on the congregation to pray for Mr Horsey, a father-of-two, and his family.

Both Mr Horsey and his wife are involved in church work.

While no details of the allegations have been released, a spokeswoman for Bradford diocese confirmed there were child protection issues involved.

However, church officials stressed the police were not involved and the allegations did not involve criminal behaviour.

Despite the ongoing talks between Mr Hudson and the diocese, the cathedral spokeswoman said Mr Horsey would not be reinstated.

The complaints were investigated by an independent inquiry panel with no links to the Cathedral.

There has been surprise at Mr Horsey's suspension and subsequent dismissal.

Mr Horsey was described as a talented and well-liked man who had done much to develop choral music throughout the region.