EVERYBODY has been reading these big double page spread interviews in the national press with Hampstead and Kilburn Labour candidate Tulip Siddiq, in which the details of her family links to the rulers of Bangladesh have tumbled out, and yet nowhere have we seen the photographic proof that she has met any of the world’s leaders, bar Vladimir Putin.
But here, after some considerable rooting around, these pages bring you a bit of a picture exclusive: the young Tulip meeting Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, Bill Clinton, Prince Charles and Sonia Gandhi. It’s interesting to see what the reaction among voters would be to the ultimate scrapbook of souvenir photos, collected well before the word ‘selfie’ had been invented.
Some have accused her of hiding her past, for fear that links to power wreck the narrative of an up-the-workers campaign, for selection and now for parliament. Red Tulip. Others say she was right to gloss over the connection, because she wanted to succeed on her steam, to be judged on her own ffer, rather than being accused of a nepotism. The people in the second school of thought will argue that a pic of her hanging with Vlad doesn’t seem so eye-popping when placed in the context of her unusual family album. Either way, as more and more national journalists take interest in the candidate hoping to takeover from Glenda Jackson, there’s going to be no running away from being the niece of the prime minister of Bangladesh. Maybe, with that old idea that Hampstead is a lordy old constituency which wants a grand story to tell following its years with an Oscar winner, she doesn’t want to.