More than 6,000 people have signed an online petition calling on the Conservative Party to “take action” against a councillor who made Islamophobic comments.
The petition, launched on change.org, asks Harrow Council and the borough’s Conservative Group to “expel” Pinner South ward councillor Kamaljit Chana from their organisations.
As part of an employment tribunal against Dyson Technologies LTD, Cllr Chana, who worked as a senior technical project manager, was found to have made a string of offensive comments, including calling Muslims “violent”, discussing 9/11 and terrorism, and suggesting “Pakistani men are grooming our girls”.
The case, heard by the Bristol Employment Tribunal, found in favour of an ex-Dyson employee, who resigned in 2018.
The petition suggested Cllr Chana broke Harrow Council’s councillors’ code of conduct with his comments and called for an immediate investigation.
It also urged the Conservative Party to “do more to stamp out all forms of discrimination as discrimination of any type cannot be tolerated in any part of society let alone from those who represent us as public servants”.
The campaign follows condemnation of Cllr Chana’s actions from the Labour Party in Harrow and the Muslim Forum of Middlesex.
Cllr Graham Henson, leader of Harrow Council, said: “I and the entire Labour Group believe that Islamophobia or any other form of discrimination has no place in Harrow.
“We have raised (this issue) with the council’s legal officer, who will investigate as part of the councillor standards and complaints procedure.”
And a letter from the Muslim Forum pointed out the incident was particularly upsetting given Harrow’s position as one of the most diverse areas in the UK.
The Harrow Conservative Group said: “The first we heard of these allegations and the Tribunal decision was on Sunday morning (September 20) from reading the Sunday Times.
“We take these allegations extremely seriously, we are investigating them and following due process. We will not hesitate to take firm action accordingly. We await publication of the tribunal judgement and we will scrutinise the ruling.”
Following the result of the tribunal, Cllr Chana said he hopes Dyson consider an appeal, however, there is no evidence to suggest one will be lodged.
He said: “As a British citizen, I expect everyone to follow the British values. This includes having mutual respect & tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
“There were discussions about factual news events which took place at that time.
“I do not accept the behaviour of those who aim to destroy British values, via calculated horrendous events. Nor do I accept any support shown towards those who commit such acts.
“My comments were not about whole community groups. This would be entirely unjust.”
Dyson’s Automotive Function closed over a year ago and Dyson’s promotion process and internal HR processes were not found to be discriminatory by the tribunal.
Dyson says that its internal disciplinary procedure upheld the discriminatory allegations made, except for the allegation of the anti-Muslim conversations.
A year later, the Islamophobia was brought up to HR and serious disciplinary sanction, short of dismissal, was issued to Kamaljit Chana at the time in relation to bullying.