A councillor and members of the Muslim community are calling for the removal of a Tory councillor after he made Islamophobic comments.

Councillor Kamaljit Chana, who represents Pinner South in Harrow, London, directed the comments at an Iranian colleague while working as a senior technical project manager at Dyson.

Zeinab Alipourbabaie, 39, from Wiltshire was also working as an engineer on the company’s electric car project before resigning in 2018 following months of harassment and discrimination from the councillor.

A Bristol employment tribunal last week found that during a one-to-one meeting in 2017, Cllr Chana told Ms Alipourbabaie that “Pakistani men are grooming our girls” and referred to Muslims as “violent”.

The court also heard that during this time he spoke about terrorism and the 9/11 attacks specifically, telling her that his family had now become to scared to fly to America. Cllr Chana also deliberately excluded Ms Alipourbabaie from meetings and emails, criticised her unfairly to the company’s vice president and advised against promoting her.

She said: “It had a huge impact on my life. I couldn’t sleep. It was like getting hit by a car or having an accident. Something I had no control over but hit me hard.”

In February 2018, Ms Alipourbabaie lodged a complaint to Dyson HR and following an internal investigation, Cllr Chana was given a final written warning regarding workplace bullying but still managed to retain his job.

Cllr Chana denied making the comments and said he asked her where she was from and when she replied Iran, he said that he “didn’t understand Iranian politics or the difference between Shia and Sunni people.”

He added: “I had never met someone from Iran before, so I commented that that was interesting and Iran seemed to be in the news a lot. My comments were not about whole community groups, this would be entirely unjust.”

However, the tribunal noted that the councillor did not deny the allegations at his initial grievance interview where he said that he could not remember making the comments.

The tribunal ruled unanimously that Ms Alipourbabaie’s version of the story was “compelling and persuasive” and she won claims over “religious discrimination” and “constructive unfair dismissal” after being recommended for promotion three times without any result.

Following the hearing, she said: ”No one should have to endure the pain of harassment and discrimination that I suffered while working at Dyson as a result of actions of Kamaljit Chana.”

Following the release of an article by The Sunday Times regarding the outcome of the tribunal, Labour Councillor and Leader of Harrow Council, Graham Henson expressed his dismay.

He said: “As a resident of Harrow and Leader of one of the most diverse boroughs in London, I was utterly appalled to read the article highlighting the disgusting Islamophobic comments made by a Harrow Conservative Councillor, Kamaljit Chana.

“I and the entire Labour Group believe that Islamophobia or any other form of discrimination has no place in Harrow. We have raised these press articles with the council’s legal officer who will investigate as part of the councillor standards and complaints procedure.

“We will not tolerate any form of discrimination; we will continue to challenge racism, discrimination and inequality. We call upon the Conservatives to act swiftly and thoroughly to ensure there is no room for discrimination in Harrow.”

He also explained that as part of the Localism Act 2011, the government has limited the sanctions local authorities can impose on councillors who breached their codes of conduct and therefore only the Tories could take any action.

The Muslim Forum of Middlesex has also written a letter calling for the immediate removal of Councillor Kamaljit Chana which has been supported by various Muslim organisations as well as Harrow Central Mosque.

It reads: “At a time when Islamophobia is increasing at an extraordinary pace, we are concerned that the Conservative Party in Harrow is not adopting a zero-tolerance approach. This is unacceptable.

“We are all the more disappointed that despite the matter being brought to the attention of the party, with the incident also nationally reported in the Sunday Times, the Conservative Party has dragged its heels.

“The Muslim community of Harrow will not stand for apathy in the face of Islamophobia. This conduct is all the more worrisome given that Harrow is one of the most diverse boroughs in the country, which should be celebrated.”

The letter also cites previous instances of Islamophobia from Bob Blackman, the Conservative Harrow East MP on Facebook and Anjana Patel, Conservative Councillor for Brent, Harrow on Twitter.

The Tory party have said they would investigate if they received a complaint.

Ms Alipourbabaie now works for another leading automotive company while Cllr Chana left Dyson this year after the electric car project was cancelled and said that an appeal “is being considered.”