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Tulip apologises for remarks to British journalist

The News Desk: British MP Tulip Siddiq has apologised for comments she made to a Channel 4 News producer about having a difficult childbirth.

Tulip, a Labour MP for Hampstead and Kilburn, made the remarks to Daisy Ayliffe on Tuesday, according to the British media.

After a heated confrontation with the Channel 4 News reporter Alex Thomson, Siddiq said to his producer, Daisy, who is pregnant: “Thanks Daisy for coming. Hope you have a great birth because child labour is hard.”

In his report, Thomson called Tulip’s comments “apparently threatening”, according to the Guardian.

The programme’s editor, Ben de Pear, later said he had complained to the MP and the Labour party, reports bdnews24.com.

In a statement posted on Twitter on Wednesday, Tulip said: “I want to apologise unreservedly for my comments to Channel 4’s producer, which were an offhand and ill-judged attempt to deal with what I felt was a hostile situation. I would never want to upset her and I hope she accepts my apology.”

Tulip is a niece of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Earlier on Saturday, Thomson tried to ask her about the case of Ahmad bin Quasem, a British-trained barrister allegedly in prison in Bangladesh, while she was at a rally in support of the jailed British-Iranian woman Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

Channel 4 News said it had previously tried to contact the Labour MP about the case of Bin Quasem, who human rights organisations say was abducted by state security forces, the Guardian reported.

When questioned by Thomson, Tulip asked the reporter whether Bin Quasem was a citizen of Britain or a resident of Hampstead, of which he is neither.

Before the comment to Ayliffe, Siddiq said to Thomson: “I’m a Labour MP for Hampstead and Kilburn, I’m a British member of parliament. Be very careful.

“I’m not Bangladeshi and the person you are talking about, I have no idea about their case. That is the end of my statement.”

She also received support from people on Twitter who have questioned why Tulip should have to account for actions in Bangladesh purely on the grounds she has a Bangladeshi heritage.

About the questions on Bin Quasem in her apology, Tulip said: “With regard to the Channel 4 news report itself, and as I made clear prior to the event on Saturday, I was born in London and serve as a British member of parliament. The focus of my work is spent on delivering for the residents of Hampstead and Kilburn who elected me to represent them.

“The fact that some members of my family are involved in politics in Bangladesh has long been a matter of public record which I have not hidden from. That said, I have no capability nor desire to influence politics in Bangladesh.”

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