New Delhi, Nov 24 (IANS) In the first-ever expulsion of a peer in the history of the House of Lords in the UK, Lord Nazir Ahmed has controversially announced his retirement only to Pakistani news outlets, keeping silent in the UK.
As per a report in Insight UK, the House of Lords Conduct Committee has published a report on Lord Nazir Ahmed of Rotherham, concluding that for the first time ever, a peer should be expelled.
The report finds Ahmed to have breached the Code of Conduct for “failing to act on his personal honour” over sexual assault and exploitation.
Ahmed announced his retirement on November 14 after having seen the report. Further, he controversially announced his retirement only to Pakistani news outlets, keeping silent in the UK, Insight UK reported.
“His sudden retirement is an obvious attempt to escape justice, meaning he does not lose his title and has the legal right to return if he changes his mind,” it said.
The report details how Tahira Zaman “was put in contact with Lord Ahmed to help her make a complaint to the Metropolitan Police about a faith healer”.
After offering to help, Ahmed was found to have used his position to sexually assault the complainant on March 2, 2017, lie to the complainant about his intentions to help her and exploit the complainant emotionally and sexually despite knowing she was vulnerable, the report said.
The Commissioner also found that Ahmed failed to cooperate with her investigation and instead attempted to discredit Zaman’s evidence through “denial and dishonesty”.
The allegations of sexual misconduct were first brought to light in a BBC Newsnight investigation. It was reported that there are many women he has taken advantage of, but most were unwilling to come forward due to fear and community honour.
Insight UK said Ahmed’s conduct, particularly his dishonesty and lack of cooperation towards the investigating committee, is a key part of the report. Exploitation, sexual assault, lack of integrity, deliberately inaccurate and misleading accounts, lying about his intentions, deception, acting without honesty or integrity, risk of repetition form just a small list of damning condemnations in the report.
Due to the severe nature of his misconduct, the only recommendation the committee could make was expulsion.
He is due to stand trial in January 2021 facing charges of historical child sexual abuse along with two of his brothers. Ahmed has been charged with two counts of attempted rape and one count of indecent assault, while his brothers have also been charged with multiple indecent assault charges against two children, a boy and a girl. The accusations date back to the early ’70s.
In what is surely a miscarriage of justice, the court at the last hearing had declared that his brothers, now aged 63 and 68, would not be able to recall that far back, and therefore will not face trial, the report said.
On Christmas Day in 2007, Ahmed killed 28-year-old Martin Gombar, a husband and young father of two. Ahmed sent and received messages while driving, before his Jaguar smashed into a stationary Audi killing its driver. He was jailed for 12 weeks, but was freed after serving just 16 days when the Court of Appeal suspended his sentence because of “exceptional” mitigation relating to his community work.
He was due to appear before the Labour National Executive Committee for his anti-Semitic remarks, but to pre-empt his expulsion from the party, he resigned from the party two days beforehand, Insight UK said.
There is a history of other anti-Semitic incidents. In 2005, Ahmed hosted a book launch in the House of Lords for neo-Nazi holocaust denier Israel Shamir, who frequently uses anti-Semitic language in his work.
In 2009, Ahmed, along with several extremist British Islamists, signed a letter praising the anti-Jewish Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan after he walked out of a debate with then Israel President Shimon Peres at the Davos Conference in Switzerland.
In 2009, in an interview on Iranian Press TV, Ahmed said that British Jews who served in the Israeli army should be arrested and charged with war crimes, Insight UK reported.