A man, currently suspended from his job as an operational supports officer at Leeds City Council’s contact centre, is suing the council.

Lakhbeer Barn said that work colleagues had made fun of him due to his Sikh background and his brother’s disability and he resorted to making secret recordings of some of their conversations and took screen grabs of their private instant messenger exchanges to get evidence together to support his claim.

A Leeds employment tribunal has heard that Mr Barn alleges that the problems stemmed from an incident involving a work colleague of his, Ian Bratley and a girl, Kelly Newton. Mr Barn had a relationship with Miss Newton which ended, he claims, because her friends made fun of them being a mixed race couple and Mr Bratley then began a relationship with her. The two men fell out and Mr Barn says that problems then started with a campaign of bullying and harassment.

Mr Bratley told the panel that, though there was hostility between the two men after their friendship ended, he knew nothing of any bullying or discrimination that had been alleged by Mr Barn. The tribunal continues.