Safia Kauser, 30, who Was Wrongly Sacked, Wins £63,000 for Unfair Dismissal in Keighley

Safia Kauser, 30, from Keighley, a former town clerk has won a £63,000 payout after being wrongly sacked when a councillor accused her of calling him a ‘f***ing racist b*****d’, a tribunal heard.

Safia Kauser started working at Keighley Town Council in June 2009 as a financial officer, but was appointed town clerk in October 2015.

Independent Councillor Michael Westerman accused her of angrily phoning him to ask: ‘do you know you’re a f***ing racist b*****d?’, the tribunal heard, and Ms Kauser was suspended and sacked.

She denied the claims but admitted she asked him if he had a ‘racial motive’.

Mr Westerman lodged an official complaint against Ms Kauser in November 2017, and the council commissioned an investigation.

Ms Kauser was suspended from her duties, a disciplinary hearing was held, and the council voted to dismiss her in March.

But Ms Kauser took the Labour-run council to Leeds Employment Tribunal which ruled it was ‘not satisfied’ she actually said the comment and she had not acted with misconduct.

It decided ‘The respondent shall pay to the claimant damages in respect of the wrongful dismissal in the sum of £5,313.87, outstanding holiday pay in the sum of £2,405.11 and in respect of unfair dismissal £4,401.’

A remedy hearing on June 25 awarded Ms Kauser £63,266 – made up of damages, loss of earnings, compensation and costs.

Speaking after the hearing, Ms Kauser said: ‘I know councillor Westerman had a vendetta against me and I was targeted by a group of councillors.

‘The treatment I received was appalling. They tried to deliberately remove me from my job. I feel like I was bullied.’

She claims some councillors – including Mr Westerman – plotted to get her dismissed and complained about her ‘rudeness to councillors’.

The tribunal heard Mr Westerman told fellow councillor Ron Beale there were ‘too many Asians’ on the council and Safia had ‘too much power’.

Ms Kauser has since taken up a new job at a neighbouring local council, in Lancashire, as responsible financial officer and town clerk.