Lord Nazir Ahmed of Rotherham was accused of sexually exploiting vulnerable Kashmiri-origin women from the British-Asian community….writes Anasudhin Azeez
British Parliament will be rocked with another sex scandal as a prominent British-Asian Lord was accused of allegedly exploiting vulnerable Kashmiri-origin women.
BBC’s Newsnight investigative team accused Lord Nazir Ahmed of involved in a sex for favour scam after two women come forward to share their experience with BBC.
According to Miss Tahira Zaman, a single mother, there are at least five other women want to take action against the Lord but are afraid of doing so because of community wrath and family honour. The victim received a threatening mail from a senior staff member of the Lord for approaching Police, House of Lords Standards Committee and the Media.
Miss Zaman alleged that the Lord sexually exploited her on various occasions at his second home in London.
Another victim accused the Lord of asking her to spend a night with him in London in return of helping her husband in a business tussle.
This is the first time a top Asian politician was involved in a major sex scam. In earlier cases, members of the night-time economy like cab drivers and take away workers were jailed for grooming girls for sex in Rochdale, Rotherham, Oxford and Telford.
The Lord was also accused of sharing Miss Zaman’s details with his parliamentary assistant and a businessman friend in Pakistan.
The victim Miss Zaman is in a limbo now as both House of Lords Standards Committee and the Police following a ping pong policy. In a letter dated 2nd February, 2018 the House of Lords Standards Committee rejected her claim to open an investigation by saying the “your initial contact with him (the Lord) was not to do with his parliamentary work.”
In the same letter, they are advising her to seek the help of Met Police’s special team “which deals with allegations of sexual assault and harassment against politicians.”
But in the BBC Newsnight interview, Lord Alex Carlisle of Berriew, former High Court judge and a barrister, said the Lords Standards Committee was wrong in their decision because the Lord prima facie violates Codes.
The Met Police have confirmed receiving a complaint against the Lord.
“On 14 February 2018, the Metropolitan Police received an allegation of sexual exploitation from a third party,” a statement from the Met press office said. “This alleged that an adult female had been sexually exploited by an adult male. This allegation related to a series of incidents which are alleged to have taken place for several months beginning in March 2017.
Following an investigation by officers from the Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Command, no offences were identified and the matter was closed.”
A police officer visited Miss Zaman at her home and had three hour conversation with her over the complaint. The officer advised the victim to approach the House of Lords Standards Committee again by asserting the fact that the first meeting with the Lord was related to seeking his support as a Lord to address a personal grievance.
The other options are suing the Lord in a court, going to media or approaching the police by person.
The police later interviewed her in camera regarding the molestation incident happenned inside the car.
Miss Zaman was not happy with the manner police handled her complaint. She is now planning to approach higher authorities and Home Office to pursue the case. The victim is also seeking the help of organisations like Southall Sisters to prevent the Lord from preying on more girls from the community.
She suffered a panic attack and took medication, but determined to go ahead with her decision to file complaints at relevant authorities.
Miss Zaman already received a threatening mail from a close aide of the Lord for approaching the Police, Media and Lords Standards Committee seeking justice. She forwarded that letter to the police for taking action.
Mr Nazir Afzal OBE, former Chief Prosecutor of Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), one of the most respected legal professionals from the British-Asian community, is providing legal advice to the latest victim of the sex scandal which will rock the British Parliament in the coming days.
Mr Afzal lauded the decision of the young victim to shed inhibitions to come in public to expose a powerful person in the community. He was critical about the mail sent by the Lord’s parliamentary aide to the victim.
“I have seen an email sent to the complaint which whilst full of legal threats doesn’t expressly deny her allegations,” Mr Afzal told Asian Lite. “I can see how it could be perceived as intimidating her into silence. Bravely she refuses to be silenced.”
The victim in a statement said she won’t be cowed by threats and pressures.
“The community would ostracise me for bringing negative attention and often the woman always gets the blame in the sexual cases and are treated as the perpetrator,” Miss Zamina told Asian Lite. “But I am not afraid. I don’t want any more young women falling preys to the honey pots of faith healers and fraud Lords. I am not afraid and I want justice.”
Mr Afzal, who fought to get justice for the victims of Rochdale grooming case, lauded the decision of the victim come in public to expose a powerful person in the community.
Miss Zamina, a Kashmiri-origin single mother, was also accusing the Lord of sharing the personal details of women to a staff member and a close friend in Pakistan.
A group of Pakistani women have said they are planning to protest against the Lord, seeking his resignation from the Upper House of Parliament. The victim, who is on treatment for her mental and physical ailments, is also approaching the officials to launch an investigation into the activities of the Lord.
Miss Zaman is also accusing the Lord of allegedly exploiting several women for his “personal gratification.”
According to the complaints to the Police, House of Lords Standards Committee and the statements she gave to Asian Lite newspaper, there was an incident of molestation at a car park in East London.
The victim alleged that the Lord inappropriately touched her at a parked car. She rejected the move.
That was her first meeting with the Lord to discuss the issue against a faith healer who cheated her by taking money and sharing her details to a rich Pakistani businessman.
“He sat in the car and put his hand on thighs. I pushed his hand away,” the victim told Asian Lite.
Then the Lord was accused of sending many text messages apologising for the incident and made several phone calls to convince her to meet him again. He won her trust by sending a letter on WhatsApp. The letter was written in his official letter-pad to Metropolitan Police to support the victim’s complaint against the faith healer.
The victim was later invited to his second home in London and sexually exploited many times. Most of the encounters took place on Monday to Thursday when the Lord was in London to attend his official meetings.
Miss Zaman is also accusing the Lord of sharing the details with one of his aides. The Lord was also accused of taking medication during the sexual encounters.
She said the Lord and his staff were using the second home for their secret liaisons.
“His staff also use his house to meet women there as they got keys to access,” Miss Zaman told Asian Lite.
The victim, a London resident, approached the British-Asian Lord to get his support to alert police to prevent the activities of a faith healer in Ilford. The victim is also accusing the ‘Baba’ of fleecing vulnerable people from the Asian community and supplying victims to an alleged sex racket in London. The latest allegation will be the biggest sex scandal in British history in which a top British-
“Sexual exploitation is more about the abuse of power and control than anything else,” Mr Afzal told Asian Lite. “I have prosecuted both high profile figures with significant power, and people who have no profile outside their community. They come in all shapes, sizes, ethnicity, race and religion. The only thing they have in common is that they are invariably men. “It takes great courage for a victim to speak up and I would hope that the relevant authorities including in Parliament would sit up and listen. Nobody is above the law.
“As far as alleged perpetrators from within the South Asian communities, they have often offended under the radar but in plain sight of others. It’s a duty for all of us to share what we know. We need to protect the most vulnerable in society and not be bystanders to abuse.”
The latest allegation will be the second major sex scandal rocking the Parliament this year. In February, Liberal Democrat shadow minister Lord Lester of Herne Hill lost his party’s whip after Jasvinder Sanghera, a campaigner against forced marriages lodged a formal complaint against the 81-year- old peer for repeatedly trying to grope her after she approached him for help to pass legislation. The House of Lords suspended the Peer after Lucy Scott-Moncrieff, Commissioner for Standards, recommended for a four-year suspension. The 82-year-old Peer later resigned from the Parliament.