Tuesday July 05, 2022

Two Pakistani politicians in UK court over ‘defamatory’ tweet

June 21, 2021

BRADFORD: British Pakistani Labour MP Naz Shah has issued defamation court claim at the London High Court against the British Pakistani Conservative Party activist and former Punjab Assembly member Dr Ashraf Chohan over a tweet which accused Naz Shah of supporting “vandalism” by the Black Lives Matters (BLM) protestors.

According to the court claim, seen by Daily Jang newspaper, Naz Shah, whose name in court papers is Naseem Shah MP, is demanding an apology and damages of £50000 from Muhammad Ashraf Chohan. She denies that she supported vandalism.

The court claim issued at the Queen’s Bench Division of the London High Court, says the Labour MP is seeking damages “against the defendant in respect of defamation from a social media post accompanied with a video published by the defendant on his twitter page on 12 June 2020 titled Black Lives Matter and congrats to Naz Shah for her support for vandalism”.

At the time when the tweet was published, there were protests going on about the killing of George Floyd by the US police. The tweet carried a video, which showed protestors vandalising a shop in a London area during the BLM protests.

Dr Chohan deleted the tweet later but the MP says this was circulated in the UK widely and caused serious harm to her reputation. Dr Chohan, who was elected toPunjab Assembly on the PMLN ticket a few years ago, has denied causing any defamation. Dr Chohan is Chairman of Conservatives Friends of National Health Service (NHS) and director of Conservative Friends of Pakistan (CFOP).

Naz Shah has previously held the position of Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities under Jeremy Corbyn and is the current Shadow Minister for Community Cohesion under Keir Starmer also served in the Home Affairs Select Committee. The defamation case between the two will go on a trial in five months.