The Labour candidate in Britain’s most marginal seat was last night accused of failing to tell voters that she met Vladimir Putin in Moscow two years ago when a controversial billion-dollar arms deal was signed.
Tulip Siddiq, a former aide to Ed Miliband, and who is standing for Labour in Hampstead, was at the Kremlin with her aunt, the hardline leader of Bangladesh who is accused of human rights abuses.
A smiling Ms Siddiq was photographed alongside Putin and Sheikh Hasina, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh and Ms Siddiq’s mother Rehana.
But the Tories last night accused Ms Siddiq of trying to conceal her extraordinary links to Putin and Sheikh Hasina.
They claimed she appears to have gone to great lengths to cover up her trip in January 2013 – just six months before she won a hotly-contested Labour selection contest in Hampstead – and her links with Hasina.
The Tories also said she had deleted postings and photographs on her blog which showed how she campaigned to get her aunt re-elected.
And they questioned why her 1,200-word official Labour profile made no mention of Putin, the arms deal or being a member of a ruling Bangladeshi dynasty.
A Tory official said: ‘It seems very odd that Ms Siddiq has appeared to try to conceal the most interesting parts of her political life.’
Retiring Labour MP Glenda Jackson won Hampstead with a majority of just 42 in 2010.
Last night a Labour spokesman said: ‘Tulip is proud of her background and has always been very open about it.’
As for the photograph, the spokesman said: ‘Tulip was totally separate from any official delegation but was invited to an event with her family.’
By Simon Walters, Political Editor For The Mail On Sunday