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World

August 6, 2020

Bradford MP Naz Shah files defamation case against British Pakistani businessman over 'defamatory' tweet

World

Thu, Aug 06, 2020
The MP(right) has demanded a suitable apology and compensation for the damages. — Photo by author 

LONDON: Labour Member of Parliament for Bradford (West), Naz Shah, has initiated a defamation case against the Conservative Party and Dr Ashraf Chohan, the former PML-N Punjab Assembly member and a leading ethnic figure in the ruling Conservative party.

The News has seen a letter Naz Shah’s lawyers at Eve Solicitors have written to Dr Chohan over an alleged “defamatory tweet” that was published on 12th June 2020, when Black Lives Matter protests were at a peak in Britain after the tragic killing of George Floyd by the US police.

The millionaire British Pakistani businessman, who runs several care homes and has interests in real estate, had tweeted: “Congrats to @NazshahBfd for her support for vandalism.”

The tweet was accompanied by a video that showed a few people vandalising a shop in a London area during the BLM protests held in London to show support for the worldwide movement.

Eve Solicitors have alleged that the Conservative Party representative claimed in his tweet that the British Pakistani MP, who openly supported BLM protests and demands, was in favour of “criminal activity, therefore, implying our client is a criminal by default”.

The legal letter says: “The tweet referred to our client. While our client will rely on the tweet as a whole, including the title and images. We aver that the allegation is false in its entirety therefore it is blatantly defamatory. The publication of the Article has caused and/or is likely to cause our client serious harm. The damage is both financial and to her reputation.”

The letter demands that the British Pakistani Conservative Party politician should publish a suitable apology in terms to be agreed and “compensate our client for the damage to her reputation, distress and financial loss caused”.

Both Dr Chohan and Naz Shah MP refused to comment on the matter but it’s understood that Dr Chohan has rejected allegations of defamation and has vowed to defend himself.

The alleged defamatory tweet is no more available on Chohan’s timeline.

Dr Chohan, originally from Gujranwala, is the Chairman of Conservatives Friends of National Health Service (NHS) and director of Conservative Friends of Pakistan (CFOP).

Naz Shah MP is an outspoken Labour MP from Bradford, who has often been in news for various reasons and has served at the Home Affairs Select Committee. While supporting BLM protests, she has called for racial equality and rights for all ethnic minority communities.

Activist D Jahdia Spencer said in a tweet that she wrote to Health Secretary Matt Hancock complaining about that the Labour MP has been falsely accused of endorsing “criminal activities” but received no response.