Primary Insurance is conducting a witchhunt for a disgruntled employee who issued a rogue press release this week that mocked the board of directors.

The cod release said the insurer had avoided making redundancies at the end of this month after implementing restructuring plans proposed, not by the board, but by the staff themselves.

And it said the board was so impressed with the ideas that they had returned their recent bonuses.

The Horsham travel and health insurer has called for voluntary redundancies by the end of the month from its 120-strong workforce as it restructures following its amalgamation of Primary International Healthcare and Goodhealth Worldwide.

It has also acquired the remaining equity of Primary Direct.

No redundancies have occurred so far, but the presss release poked fun at the company saying that the staff, who have to be consulted by law,

had initiated ideas that left the Stuart Leatherby, group operations director, astounded.

"Staff were able to make suggestions that we hadn't even considered," the release attributed him as saying.

Director John Bibby said the company had no idea who had issued the release, which used official Primary headed paper. He believes it is either a member of staff or a competitor.

Stuart Leatherby, group operations director, said: "It is unfortunate that the integration programme has led to a situation whereby we are having to examine the future of some of our employees within the group, but we firmly believe that the Primary Insurance group is making the right decisions in order to ensure a long term market leading position."