• Tuesday, May 21, 2024

HEADLINE STORY

Lords inquiry launched into journalist’s claims of abuse by Tory peer Rami Ranger

By: Chandrashekar Bhat

The House of Lords has opened an investigation into Conservative peer Rami Ranger after a journalist accused him of a campaign of bullying and harassment, a media report said.

The inquiry is related to Lord Ranger’s alleged abusive response to freelance reporter Poonam Joshi over the invitation extended to Atmadaya – the UK representative of controversial Indian spiritual leader Nithyananda – to a Diwali event held in the House of Lords in October.

Ranger who helped organise the event said earlier this month that he “would never have attended an event where such unsavoury characters were being promoted,” if he had known about it.

But the peer responded to Joshi, who was investigating his links to the controversial Indian guru, with abuse on Twitter and WhatsApp, the Guardian reported.

Ranger, who is suing Joshi for defamation, declined to comment on the matter.

Ranger told the newspaper: “I have served court papers for defamation against [Joshi] and as a result, I cannot comment now. I will be giving my response to the commissioner for parliamentary standards in due course.”

Joshi claimed she had been “targeted” by the conservative donor “for weeks”.

“Lord Ranger has long been seen as an elder statesman within the British Asian community who has never been criticised in any way. So to be questioned, especially by a journalist who also happens to be an Indian woman, is seen as an ‘affront’ in our community,” she said.

Lord Ranger has served as a patron of Conservative Friends of India and donated £1.5 million to the party individually and through Sun Mark, his consumer goods company. The peer also helped establish the Hindu Forum of Britain.

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