Labour MP Tulip Siddiq apologises for making ‘threatening remark’ to pregnant journalist
Labour MP Tulip Siddiq has apologised “unreservedly” to a pregnant TV producer after she told her to “be careful” before warning that "child labour is hard".
Ms Siddiq, who sits on the Women and Equalities committee, made the remarks when facing questions on whether she could help Bangladeshi prisoners because her aunt is prime minister there.
She came under fire from Channel 4, who made a formal complaint to the Labour party, and a number of Tory MPs, one of whom accused her of “shocking" hypocrisy.
Ms Siddiq posted a statement on Twitter in which she apologised for her “off-hand and ill-judged” remarks.
She said: “I want to apologise unreservedly for my comments to Channel 4’s producer, which was an off-hand and ill judged attempt to deal with what I felt was in a hostile situation. I would never want to upset her and I hope she accepts my apology.
“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 no hidden from. That said, I have no capability nor desire to influence politics in Bangladesh.”
Tory MP Andrew Bridgen said: "Her hypocrisy is quite shocking. When she was pregnant she brought much criticism on those who she thought were less than understanding of her situation and this was much publicised. Clearly she has questions to answer about her conduct."
His comments were in reference to last year when Ms Siddiq was accused of “playing the pregnancy card” after she left a debate to eat.
Tory MP Michael Fabricant said: “Aaaaah. Now I understand. A defender of @TulipSiddiq and her threatening behaviour captured on video on @Channel4 News. Even pregnant journalists are not safe from #OldLabour.”
‘BE VERY CAREFUL’
Ms Siddiq was asked by Channel 4 about Ahmad bin Quasem, a lawyer who was reportedly abducted in Bangladesh.
She responded: "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."
Channel 4 journalist Alex Thomson, who was carrying out the interview, claimed this is the first time in 30 years an MP has told him to be careful for asking a question.
He added that Ms Siddiq "then made an apparently threatening comment to our producer, who is pregnant".
The MP said after walking away from the camera: "Thanks Daisy for coming. Hope you have a great birth because child labour is hard."
Producer Daisy Ayliffe said afterwards: "The perils of being a pregnant journalist: An MP might use it against you."