A Conservative councillor who made Islamophobic comments to a colleague has been suspended by his party.

Harrow Conservatives confirmed Cllr Kamaljit Chana would be relieved of his duties for six months – the maximum punishment the group can impose in terms of suspension.

Cllr Paul Osborn, leader of Harrow Conservatives, explained this will give the party the chance to “investigate further and, if appropriate, to take further action”.

He added Cllr Chana’s actions would be measured against the party’s representatives’ code of conduct by a panel that will include at least one independent person.

As part of an employment tribunal against Dyson Technologies, Cllr Chana, who worked as a senior technical project manager, was found to have made a string of offensive comments, including calling Muslims “violent” and suggesting “Pakistani men are grooming our girls” during a one-to-one meeting in 2017, as well as mentioning 9/11 and terrorism in general during the period.

The case, heard by the Bristol Employment Tribunal, found in favour of an ex-Dyson employee, who resigned in 2018.

Cllr Graham Henson, leader of Harrow Council, said there is “no place in Harrow” for discrimination and called on his Conservative colleagues to take strong and swift action.

He was supported by a letter from the Muslim Forum of Middlesex, while an online petition calling for Cllr Chana to be sacked was signed by thousands.

Husain Akhtar, from Harrow Monitoring Group, praised the decision to issue a suspension and said his group would continue to raise awareness of “unacceptable” actions by elected representatives.

He said: “Good to see the Conservative Group taking the desired step, which show that they meant what they said about taking Cllr Chana’s toxic behaviour seriously.

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.”