A Parliamentary hopeful who claims he is a ‘feminist’ has been caught on CCTV camera in a strip club, repeatedly trying to touch a naked lap dancer.
Maajid Nawaz, the Liberal Democrat candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn, visited the club in Whitechapel during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan where he and his friend were seen drinking heavily, the Daily Mail reports.
The former convicted extremist can be seen in the film trying to make physical contact with the woman during two private lap dances, costing £20 each.
The married father-of-one, considered a rising star in the party, who is also a leading figure in the Muslim community, was described as “very drunk” by the club’s manager, Say Shah.
“In general, he was quite persistent with her, asking to take her out and for her number,” he said of Mr Nawaz, who calls himself an advocate of women’s rights.
The 37 year old, who is head of the anti-extremist group the Quillam Foundation, often campaigns against Female Genital Mutilation and paints himself as a role model for young Muslim men at risk of being radicalised.
But his behaviour in an East London strip club has seen him branded a “hypocrite” by the club’s owner, Abdul Malik, who said he wanted the video to go public because Nawaz portrays himself as a feminist and a family man.
“He’s always talking about religion on TV and I thought, what a hypocrite,” he said.
Outspoken Tory MP Nadine Dorries called for Nawaz to stand down from his candidacy, saying “In politics, you can’t advocate one cause or manner of behaviour then act differently in your personal life.”
And Labour MP Khalid Mahmood said “The message this sends to women is not one of respect.”
Nawaz was jailed in Eygpt in 2005 for his role in the Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir, where he met his first wife Rabia Nawaz. On his return to England the following year he renounced his views and established himself as a spokesman on extremism.
“The evening you refer to was our client’s stag night before his marriage,” they said.
“His best man took him to the gentleman’s club with the full knowledge of our client’s then future wife (now his wife).”