Disabled man rejected by MI5 takes discrimination claim to appeal

A partly-paralysed man is suing MI5 after his application for a job tracking suspects was rejected.

Sajad Suleman could not move his arms or legs when he applied for the job of mobile surveillance officer at the UK’s intelligence service.

But he argued that the organisation should have at least interviewed him to discuss how to adapt the job of “observing people by foot or vehicle” to his requirements.

He could have carried the job out by following suspects by train, taxis or buses, he said.

The case has already been thrown out by a London Employment Tribunal, but he is appealing.

Suleman said: “I knew the mobile surveillance officer job was active. They sent you out, sometimes to different countries, to spy on someone.

“You are out on the front line, but it was right up my street.

“They have a duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabilities. They should have invited me for an interview, there is no doubt about that, and I should have got the job.”

The former bus driver and union representative added: “I should have been the preferred candidate because they said they encouraged applications from people from ethnic minorities and with disabilities.”

His application to MI5 was dismissed in 2007 because the job required someone who drove more than 8,000km (5,000 miles) a year – half that driven by Suleman.

MI5 and recruitment agency TMP insisted Suleman did not meet the requirements of the job and said rejecting his application had nothing to do with his disabilties.

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