A Liberal Democrat candidate who describes himself as a feminist has been filmed repeatedly trying to touch a naked lap dancer, according to an expose by the Daily Mail newspaper.

Maajid Nawaz, 37, is contesting the marginal seat of Hampstead and Kilburn in north London. Video footage shows him attempting to touch the dancer's arms and thighs, which is against the venue's policy. Nawaz has previously described himself as an advocate of women's rights.

Nawaz allegedly requested two private sessions with the dancer during his visit to the unidentified strip club in Whitechapel, east London. Staff at the club reportedly claimed that Nawaz was pestering the girl throughout the evening and that his behaviour had been "outrageous".

During the film, Nawaz can be seen repeatedly attempting to touch the girl as she dances naked for him in a private room.

The club's manager, Jay Shah, alleges that Nawaz was "very drunk" and that bouncers threatened to throw him out several times.

"He was asking her to touch him and he was touching her," he claims. "In general he was quite persistent with her, asking to take her out and for her number."

Nawaz is a leading member of London's Muslim community and also heads the anti-extremism charity, the Quilliam Foundation. It is alleged that he visited the club during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Former extremist

Nawaz was jailed in Egypt in 2005 for activities with the radical Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir. When he returned to the UK in 2006, he renounced his views and became a spokesman on extremism issues.

Nawaz is married to US-born writer and artist Rachel Maggart, 29, and he has a son from a previous marriage. He stated on the BBC's Newsnight in 2013: "I consider myself a feminist." He has also posted on Twitter to say: "You don't need to be a woman to stand for women's rights."

Last night Conservative MP Nadine Dorries called for Nawaz to resign his candidacy.

"In politics, you can't advocate one cause or manner of behaviour then act differently in your personal life," she said.

Touching denied

A spokesman for Nawaz stated that he denied touching the dancer "inappropriately" and that his reputation for advocating women's rights was "in the context of Islamic extremism".

He said Nawaz was not warned about his behaviour, and that he was not "out of control" through drink or breaching the rules.

The spokesman added: "The evening you refer to was our client's stag night before his marriage. His best man took him to the gentleman's club with the full knowledge of our client's then future wife (now his wife)."

CCTV footage, allegedly of Nawaz in the nightclub, has been uploaded to YouTube.

Warning – video features nudity and adult content

Daily Mail