THE deputy chairman of the Bradford Conservative Association has been suspended by his party amid allegations of anti-Semitism, discrimination, misogyny, and clan politics.

Abdul Zaman is accused of making inappropriate comments during a speech to start Tory candidate Sajid Akhtar's campaign for election to Bradford Council in the Heaton ward.

Bradford West Labour MP Naz Shah has written to Prime Minister David Cameron complaining about Mr Zaman's speech which he made using Mirpuri dialect.

Barry Whitaker, chairman of the Bradford Conservative Association, insisted Mr Zaman had said nothing wrong but confirmed that the party had suspended him while an investigation was carried out.

In her letter to Mr Cameron, Ms Shah said she has "grave concerns" regarding Mr Zaman's speech, and states: "Mr Zaman was speaking very passionately about clan politics, women, Jews and Christians and defying equality values whilst endorsing misogyny and anti-Semitism."

She adds: "The inference of this message is clearly that at local level the 'Biradri' gatekeepers do as they see fit for their own purposes in defiance of Conservative policy and have a green light to endorse, and indeed, brazenly promote discriminatory views which smack against our values of tolerance, inclusion, diversity and cohesion."

Mr Whitaker said he was at the campaign event and heard Mr Zaman's speech, which, he said, was translated for him at the time.

He said Mr Zaman was talking about uniting Muslims, Jews and Christians to "work together for the common good".

"I did not hear a single word of complaint about anything that was said," said Mr Whitaker. "She (Naz Shah) is accusing Abdul Zaman of misogyny and anti-Semitism. He did use the word Jews.

"He was talking about Jews and Christians joining with us, unifying with us and being as one, rather than as separate entities. Unification is good."

Mr Whitaker said he had notified Conservative Central Office of what was going on, and added: "Because I do take these allegations seriously, I have suspended Abdul Zaman pending an inquiry into what he said and what he meant by what he said.

"I am under the impression it is a political move rather than any effort on Naz Shah's part to get to the truth.

"I have known Zaman a long time and I have never heard him express any opinions that fit in with what Naz Shah is saying."

He added: "I am standing by him in spite of having suspended him. I am conducting a thorough investigation."

Councillor Simon Cooke, leader of the Conservative group on Bradford Council, said: "We take allegations of this sort very seriously. I can confirm that Mr Zaman has been suspended from the party, subject to an investigation into the matter."