Tulip Siddiq MP reports “intimidating” Channel 4 film crew to police
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Police are investigating an allegation of common assault made by Tulip Siddiq against a Channel 4 film crew after they interviewed her at a rally in West Hampstead on Saturday.
The MP told the Ham&High this morning: “I have reported the crew to police. I cannot say much about the incident as they are investigating. But I felt threatened and intimidated. I am only 4ft 11 and the reporter was 6ft.”
This comes as Channel 4 has lodged a complaint about Ms Siddiq with the Labour party over comments she made to pregnant producer Daisy Ayliffe at an incident on Friday.
The incident, which was filmed and shown on Channel 4 news on Tuesday night, showed Ms Siddiq being fronted by correspondent Alex Thomson over a story about the MPs aunt Sheikh Hasina, prime minister of Bangladesh.
Mr Thomson had fronted the MP during a rally to free her constituent Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe from Iran.
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Ms Siddiq was asked during the interview about the case of a British-trained barrister, Ahmed Bin Quasem, who has been held in a secret Bangladeshi prison since August 2016. His supporters believe Ms Siddiq should use her family connections to secure his release.
At the end of an interview Ms Siddiq is seen on camera saying to Ms Ayliffe: “Thanks Daisy for coming. Hope you have a great birth because child labour is hard!”
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Editor of Channel 4 news, Ben de Pear has put in a formal complaint to Tulip Siddiq’s office, and the national Labour party about her conduct.
Mr de Pear says that Ms Siddiq intimidated Ms Ayliffe, and said she sought to cause “deliberate upset and distress.”
Mr Siddiq told the Ham&High in an exclusive first interview on the incident: “I have apologised unreservedly to Daisy. It was not my intention to upset the producer. It was an offhand remark to deal with a hostile situation.
“I have emailed her and asked her if she would like to go for a cup of tea.”
She said regarding the case of barrister Mr Quasem: “He is not my constituent. It is not my desire to interfere in Bangladeshi politics and nor is it appropriate to do so.”
Ms Siddiq added: “I was born in London, went to a Camden school and my focus is in Hampstead and Kilburn and on my consituents. It is no secret that I have relatives in Bangladesh. The Prime Minister of Bangladesh is my aunt. I have never tried to hide it.
“I am very close to my aunt as a niece would be to her auntie. We never talk about politics. I just share all my family news with her, such as when Azalea took her first step or when I got my degree, We are close when it comes to talking about family. We do not talk about politics,” she said.
“My aunt is 70 years old and has years of experience. She is not going to take any notice of her niece, a backbench MP in Britain. It would be inappropriate for me to make a phone call to her about this. It does not work like this.”
Ms Siddiq said she had been contacted by Channel 4 and had refused an interview on the subject of Mr Bin Quasem before. She agreed to do an interview with Alex Thomson at the rally and to answer questions about Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.
“It was an emotional event for me. I was with Nazanin’s family and there were mothers and babies there. But Channel 4 sprung this interview on me and I found them hostile and aggressive. They were physically intimidating. I have filed a complaint to police about the conduct of the journalist”
A Met spokesman said: “Police were called at approximately 13:00hrs on Saturday, 25 November by a woman, aged in her 30s, alleging an incident of common assault. The incident happened in West End Lane, NW6 earlier that day. Enquiries continue.”