Cardiff race equality chief accused of homophobia

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Calls have been made to sack the chief of a Cardiff racial equality group after he was filmed making apparently homophobic comments.

Mohammed Tufail, director of Cardiff and Vale Race Equality First, was recorded approaching a group of Muslims distributing leaflets outside a mosque in the run-up to last year’s general election, the Western Mail reports.

The group was distributing leaflets in support of Liberal Democrat Elwyn Watkins.

Mr Tufail was a supporter of Mr Watkins’ rival, the incumbent Labour MP Phil Woolas.

However, a group called the Muslim Public Affairs Committee claimed Mr Woolas’ campaign literature was anti-Muslim and were supporting Mr Watkins instead.

On the footage, posted on YouTube, Mr Tufail is seen telling the group: “He [Mr Watkins] is openly gay”.

When the leaflet distributor says: “It doesn’t matter – it’s about policy”, Mr Tufail responds: “You’re from the Muslim Public Affairs Committee. The man is openly gay and you say it doesn’t matter?”

The Muslim activist says again: “That’s not the issue.”

Mr Tufail states: “What is the issue?” He then turns to the cameraman and says: “Switch that camera off or I’ll ram it down your throat”.

Other equality groups have called for him to be sacked.

Naz Malik, chief executive of Awema, the All Wales Ethnic Minority Association, said he should be dismissed immediately.

Mr Tufail has been on sick leave since January, a spokesman for the Cardiff and Vale Race Equality First said.

The body received £174,465 this year from Cardiff county council and “substantial” amounts from the Equality and Human Rights Commission and Vale of Glamorgan council.

A spokeswoman for Cardiff county council said: “Cardiff Council is one of the funders for Race Equality First. We are unable to comment further as these are internal matters for Race Equality First which are currently being investigated.”

The other two organisations would not comment.

Mr Tufail has not commented.