Amid multiple allegations of sexual misconduct, Lord Nazir Ahmed, a member of the United Kingdom’s House of Lords, retired from Parliament after seeing a conduct report recommending that he be expelled for sexually exploiting a vulnerable woman.
Lord Ahmed resigned from the House of Lords on 14 November but the report, which was agreed by the House of Lords Conduct Committee and seen by Lord Ahmed before that date, recommends that he should have been expelled.
In 2019, Lord Nazir Ahmed was accused of exploiting his position to pursue sex with vulnerable women who asked him for help. As per media reports, Lord Ahmed emotionally and sexually exploited Tahira Zaman, who came to him for help in 2017.
“…Lord Ahmed breached the Code of Conduct by failing to act on his personal honour in the discharge of his parliamentary activities by agreeing to use his position as a member of the House to help a member of the public but then; sexually assaulting the complainant, lying to the complainant about his intentions to help her with a complaint to the Metropolitan Police regarding exploitation by a faith healer, exploiting the complainant emotionally and sexually despite knowing she was vulnerable,” stated the committee’s report.
Zaman said that she had approached Lord Ahmed because she thought he could help her get the Metropolitan Police to investigate a faith healer who she believed was exploiting women.
Lord Ahmed wrote to the Met Police Commissioner on headed paper on 2 March, and he and Zaman met at a restaurant in east London in February 2017 to discuss the case. After dinner, Zaman alleged that Lord Ahmed groped her upper thigh.
Zaman says she was shocked by his behaviour and broke off contact. But, encouraged by a friend, she messaged Lord Ahmed on 14 July that year to ask if he had received a reply from the police.
He said he had and they arranged to meet at his house in east London to discuss it. Later that evening, in September 2017, she had sex with him. The two had a consensual sexual relationship. However, Zaman said: “I was looking for help and he took advantage of me. He abused his power.”
Lord Ahmed said the allegations in the report were not true and he would appeal against the decision.
After an appeal by Lord Ahmed, the House of Lords Conduct Committee, however, upheld the findings of the House of Lords Commissioner for Standards. In her findings, the Commissioner noted that by sexually assaulting Zaman in 2017, Ahmed had breached the House of Lords Code by failing to act on his “personal honour”, and that by lying about his intentions and failing to further Zaman’s case, he had acted “without honesty or integrity”.
“I find that by sexually assaulting Ms Zaman on 2 March 2017, Lord Ahmed was therefore in breach of the Code by failing to act on his personal honour,” the Commissioner noted.
The Lords Conduct Committee report concluded Lord Ahmed had exploited Zaman, despite knowing she was receiving treatment for anxiety and depression.
The Commissioner also observed that Lord Ahmed persistently gave “deliberately inaccurate and misleading accounts to conceal his behaviour towards Ms Zaman” and failed to “genuinely” co-operate with the investigation.
Based on the findings of the report, the Conduct Committee dismissed Lord Ahmed’s appeal against the Commissioner’s findings and also recommended that he be “expelled from the House”.
The report will now have to be put to the House for approval on 19 November. In line with new Standing Orders for reports of this nature, the report will not be debated.