Lord Ahmed of Rotherham, a member of the House of Lords retired from the upper house of the Parliament who has been charged with allegedly misusing his position to sexually assault a vulnerable woman "who asked him for help" resigned from the Parliament to escape the due date of his expulsion.
The 63-year old Pakistan-origin member, who has participated in several anti-India demonstrations in London over the years, was a member of the Labour Party until 2013.
In a report published on Tuesday, the UK's House of Lords Conduct Committee recommended that Ahmed should be expelled from the House and that his appeals against the findings of the Commissioner for Standards be dismissed. The report is scheduled to be presented before the House of Lords on Thursday (November 19).
However, the accused Lord retired from the House of Lords on 14 November, but the committee had decided before that to recommend his expulsion.
The committee upheld the findings of the commissioner that Ahmed breached the code of conduct by failing to act on his personal honour in the discharge of his parliamentary activities, and recommended his expulsion from the House, instead of a lengthy suspension.
Lord bargained 'help' for sex
In 2019, Lord Nazir Ahmed was accused of exploiting his position to "pursue sex" with Tahira Zaman, two years ago (in 2017) who asked him for help. According to media reports, Zaman had approached Ahmed, hoping he would help her in getting the police to investigate a Muslim healer who she thought was a danger to women.
Zaman told BBC that he repeatedly asked her to dinner and she finally agreed. Weeks after when she contacted him about the case, he asked her to come to his east London home.
The two reportedly had a consensual sexual relationship. However, Zaman said: "I was looking for help and he took advantage of me. He abused his power."
In another case, a woman who did not want to be identified told BBC Newsnight that when she had reached out to Lord Ahmed for help, he allegedly suggested that she should spend the night at his London home. She thought of this as a proposition for sex, which she refused.
Meanwhile, the Committee also said that Ahmed had breached the code "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."
The committee said it considered the sanction of suspension, but concluded, "The abuse of the privileged position of membership for a member's own gain or gratification, at the expense of the vulnerable or less privileged, involves a fundamental breach of trust and merits the gravest sanction."
"Even though it is possible to think of even more serious breaches, the case in all its circumstances which we have set out crosses the threshold calling for immediate and definitive expulsion," the nine-member committee added.