Lord Ahmed of Rotherham has been charged with three counts of historic sexual offences against children under the age of 13.
Former Labour Party politician turned independent peer in the House of Lords Nazir Ahmed, 61, was charged Thursday with the indecent assault of a boy and with two counts of attempting to rape a girl, the BBC reports.
All charges are alleged to have occurred between 1971 and 1974, when Lord Ahmed was between the ages of 14 and 17.
Two other Rotherham men were also charged with similar offences. Mohammed Farouq, 68, was charged with four counts of indecently assaulting a boy under the age of 13 between 1968 and 1972. Mohammed Tariq, 63, was charged with two counts of indecent assault on a boy under the age of 13 between 1970 and 1972.
The Guardian reports that the charges form part of an investigation launched in 2016 by South Yorkshire Police.
All three men are expected to appear before Sheffield Magistrates’ Court on March 19th.
Mr Ahmed, a married father of three, was born in Pakistan, but moved to the UK with his family in 1969 when he was 12 to join his father, who was working at a steel factory in Rotherham.
The immigrant joined the Labour Party in 1975 at the age of 18, became a Rotherham councillor in 1990, and later became the town’s youngest magistrate.
In 1998, then-Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair elevated Mr Ahmed to the House of Lords, becoming one of the country’s first Muslim peers.
The now-non-affiliated peer was suspended from the Labour Party in 2013 after appearing on television and claiming that a Jewish conspiracy resulted in his 2009 imprisonment for dangerous driving following his involvement in a fatal collision, as reported in The Times on Friday, before resigning from Labour just two days before a party hearing was expected to expel him.
During his political career, he sought to become a “voice for the community” and has spoken out against extremism and Islamic fundamentalism, including forced marriage, women wearing the face veil, and after terror attacks in the UK said mosques should deliver sermons in English.
In 2007, Lord Ahmed was highly critical of the knighthood awarded to the Satanic Verses author Salman Rushdie, claiming it was an insult to Muslims and that the novelist had “blood on his hands.”