H&K: Tulip – I have done it all by myself

tulip

HELLO Dhaka, this is Kilburn calling. New Labour parliamentary candidate Tulip Siddiq sits behind seven microphones at a press conference in the Fire and Spice restaurant on the Kilburn High Road at the end of last week. She was answering questions (and urging people to get registered to vote in time to support her) from the Bangladeshi media, which is understandably more than a little curious about how their Prime Minister’s niece has ended up running for a seat in the House of Commons. She was asked about “dynasty” politics – the kind of subject she steered clear of during the selection campaign, probably because most discussions about her high profile relatives commonly ended up with some mention of the time she stood, smiling, next to her aunt and Vladimir Putin.

According to those who can translate, Tulip told the reporters that the whole point of her seeking a political career over here, rather than there, was to avoid accusations of getting a lucky leg-up. Bangladesh 24 reports: “If I were to stand for elections in Bangladesh you people would have said it’s dynasty politics. ‘Have you done it on your own or through your family?… I have done it all by myself.”

She added: “This constituency is very important for me. We might be unaware of this. My mother had come here after her entire family was killed in 1975.”

Her mother, Sheikh Rehana, actually also appeared at the restaurant, adding: “I didn’t help here. Please pray for her so that she can do justice to her grandfather’s name.”

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