Lord Nazir Ahmed ‘had sex with me and abused his power after I asked for help’

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Tahira Zaman complained about Lord Ahmed's behaviour to the Lords' Commissioner for Standards
Tahira Zaman complained about Lord Ahmed's behaviour to the Lords' Commissioner for Standards

JAIL & ANTI-SEMITISM

Lord Ahmed is one of the most controversial peers in the Lords.

He was jailed for 12 weeks for dangerous driving in 2009 after he was involved in a car crash which killed a dad-of-two.

He had been sending texts while driving along the motorway shortly before his Jaguar ploughed into an Audi in the road smash on Christmas Day 2007.

Father-of-two Martyn Gombar, 28, was killed.

He was sent straight to the cells from Sheffield crown court after a judge described his texting as “prolonged, deliberate, repeated and highly dangerous”, even though it was not directly linked to the accident.

He was freed by the Court of Appeal after serving 16 days of the sentence because of “exceptional” mitigation relating to his community work.

Lord Ahmed later blamed his prison sentence on a Jewish conspiracy – causing the Labour Party to suspend him due to his controversial remarks. However Lord Ahmed resigned from the Party before the Labour Party could carry out a full investigation.

Now Married peer, of Rotherham, allegedly had a sexual relationship with Tahira Zaman while she had depression.

A member of the House of Lords has been accused of exploiting his position to pursue sex with vulnerable women who asked him for help, Newsnight reveals.

One woman said Lord Nazir Ahmed of Rotherham “took advantage” and began a sexual relationship with her after she approached him for assistance while she had depression.

She says an affair began after she asked him to get police to investigate a Muslim faith healer in 2017.

Ms Zaman told BBC Newsnight: “I was looking for help and he took advantage of me. He abused his power.

Tahira Zaman, 43, approached Lord Ahmed in February 2017 through a mutual friend, hoping he would help get the police to investigate a Muslim faith healer who she felt was a danger to women.

Ms Zaman told BBC Newsnight that Lord Ahmed said he wrote a letter to the Metropolitan Police Commander Cressida Dick about her concerns. She then alleges that he repeatedly asked her for dinner.

She says she finally agreed and weeks after the dinner, she contacted him about her case and he invited her to his east London home.

“He was saying I’m beautiful,” she told Newsnight.

The pair went on to have sex on numerous occasions.

Her case has raised questions about the adequacy of the House of Lords Code of Conduct.

Lord Ahmed, 61, denies acting inappropriately.

‘Disgraceful’

In January of last year, Ms Zaman complained about Lord Ahmed’s behaviour to the Lords’ Commissioner for Standards, Lucy Scott-Moncrieff.

“Lord Ahmed used my trust to repeatedly have intercourse with me,” she told the commissioner. “I feel I have been preyed upon due to my vulnerability and used by Lord Ahmed.”

But after reviewing her complaint twice, the commissioner said she was unable to investigate.

Ms Scott-Moncrieff concluded the code could not have been broken because when Lord Ahmed offered to help her and write to the police, it was not part of his parliamentary work.

She wrote to Ms Zaman: “The behaviour you describe in your email could amount to a breach of personal honour. However, the code only applies in relation to a peer’s parliamentary work, and, from your email, it looks as if your initial contact with him was not to do with his parliamentary work.”

Newsnight showed the full correspondence between Ms Zaman and the Lords’ Commissioner for Standards to Lord Carlile – a barrister and former deputy high court judge. He said the rules should be clarified.

“If someone comes to you for help, particularly if they’re vulnerable…and you form a sexual relationship, actually that’s disgraceful,” he said.

He added: “If it is not clear to the commissioner, who is a very experienced lawyer, then I think the rules need to be clarified and in particular the guide to the code of conduct needs to be clarified.”

“She went to Lord Ahmed because she believed he was in a position to do something influential for her”, he added. “So it’s absolutely clear to me that what he was doing was in his role as a member of the House of Lords.”

Lord Carlile said a sexual relationship between Lord Ahmed and Ms Zaman could breach two clauses in the code of conduct: one covering conflicts of interest and another which stipulates that Lords must behave on “their personal honour”.

But in a statement to Newsnight, Ms Scott-Moncrieff, said: “Though credible and substantial, the complaint provided insufficient evidence that contact with the member was in relation to his parliamentary duties… To conclude otherwise, as Lord Carlile has done, is to misunderstand the code.”

In a statement, Lord Ahmed told Newsnight: “I completely deny the allegation that I have exploited my position to pursue an inappropriate relationship with any member of the public (vulnerable or otherwise) or that I have acted inappropriately in the presence of women either in my personal or professional capacity.

“The House of Lords’ Commissioner for Standards, Ms Lucy Scott-Moncrieff CBE, assessed the complaint and decided that it did not engage parliamentary inappropriate behaviour about me. She decided to take no further action.”

He added: “I take my duties as a Parliamentarian extremely seriously and would not act so as to undermine my personal or professional reputation.”

 

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