Lord Nazir hires counsel to fight sexual harassment allegations

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LONDON: Nazir Ahmed, the member of House of Lords in England, Wednesday hired a lawyer to fight sexual harassment allegations.

Lord Nazir was earlier accused of exploiting his position to pursue intimate relationships with vulnerable women who asked him for help.

Reportedly, a statement was issued by Imran Khan and Partners – the law firm hired by Lord Nazir – stating that “Lord Ahmed wishes to make it clear that he strenuously denies these allegations. He will be doing all that is humanly possible to defend himself against these allegations to show that he is completely innocent.”

Earlier, a woman in a BBC program Newsnight said that Lord Nazir Ahmed of Rotherham “took advantage” and began a sexual relationship with her after she approached him for assistance. However, Lord Ahmed, 61, denied acting “inappropriately”.

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

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.

Zaman told 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.

She accepts the relationship was consensual but said: “I was looking for help and he took advantage of me. He abused his power.”

The relationship ended after two months when Lord Ahmed told her he would not leave his wife, she said. “I genuinely did believe that he had feelings for me, I’m just so stupid… and I believed that he was going to help me,” she said.

In her interview with Newsnight, Zaman said she feels exploited by Lord Ahmed because she was suffering from anxiety and depression.

In a second case, a woman who wishes to remain anonymous told Newsnight she had also asked Lord Ahmed for help and claims he suggested she should spend the night at his London home. She interpreted this as a proposition for sex, which she refused.

However, Lord Ahmed denied any wrongdoing.