07/12/2015 11:51 GMT | Updated 30/11/2020 12:56 GMT

National Express Denies It Kicked Muslim Man Off Coach Because 'Passengers Felt Uncomfortable'

National Express has categorically denied that a Muslim man was removed from one of its coaches after passengers complained of feeling “uncomfortable”.

The company made a statement to HuffPost UK after claims that a coach driver had kicked a man off the coach when a fellow passenger said she didn’t want to travel with him.

One witness wrote on Twitter that the complaints were made because of the man’s religion.

She described how she was “appalled” at the decision, writing it was “unfounded and Islamophobic beliefs at the expense of another paying passenger”.

But National Express responded: “The only report we have for a passenger removal from a 040 today was for trying to take a laptop+printer on board, which departure?”

Passenger Nick McDonald also recalled the incident to the Bristol Post, saying: “I heard the group of women at the front of the coach say he looked ‘shifty’. She got off the coach to make a complaint and the next thing a man wearing a National Express vest got on and asked him to get off.

“If the man was carrying too many bags, why was he allowed to board the coach in the first place? It wasn’t until the woman said she felt uncomfortable that he was asked to leave.”

But a National Express spokesperson told HuffPost UK: “We categorically deny an incident in which a passenger was asked to leave one of our coaches was in any way Islamophobic.

“The gentleman concerned boarded with excess luggage which became an issue for a number of our other customers. He refused to put the excess luggage in the hold when requested, was abusive towards our staff and walked out of the station.

“Our staff, who often have to make difficult decisions at short notice, remained professional throughout and are extremely upset at these serious allegations which are both unfounded and untrue”.

The coach company has been receiving numerous complains on Twitter and is continuing to deny any truth to the claims.

The alleged incident occurred on the 10.30am service to London Victoria from Bristol Coach Station on December 3.

Editor’s note: This story has been amended since publication to remove references to a passenger’s name.