Police chef sues for being ordered to cook sausage

A police chef is suing Scotland Yard after being threatened to cook pork sausages and bacon for morning fry-ups despite his claim that the Yard said he would not have to touch food derived from pigs when he joined. Devout Hasanali Khoja has alleged that managers threatened to sack him if he refused to cook the pork-based products, which are banned under Islam, and has started proceedings for religious discrimination.

Mr Khoja, 60, said that they refused to write a “no-pork” guarantee into his contract and told him to wear gloves when he cooks the breakfasts – dubbed “999 breakfasts”. The TaxPayers’ Alliance’s campaign director Mark Wallace said: “The Met’s personnel department has obviously made a serious error and they should never have recruited someone who won’t cook what the job requires.”

The Pakistan-born chef, from Edgware, north London, joined the Met three years ago as senior catering manager at Hendon Police College in north London, where he was excused from touching the meat. But he said the offending orders came when he was given a new job at the Empress State Building in Hammersmith, west London, which is occupied mainly by Met Police staff.

His lawyer Khalid Sofi reportedly said: “This is far from a trivial claim. It is fundamental to Mr. Khoja’s beliefs that he should not handle pork. Mr. Sofi’s case raises the general question of the Met accommodating the needs of the Muslim community at a time when there is a lack of confidence in the police among Muslims.” After complaining about the proposed move, Mr. Khoja was put on special paid leave for a year but was brought back and given a third, lower-ranking job, where he does not handle foods that breach his faith.

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