Author: The National
An immigration solicitor from the British city of Bradford has been exposed as a forced marriage fixer, having been caught telling an undercover reporter that there was “no harm” in marrying off girls as young as 15.
Asama Javed, a partner at Reiss Solicitors in the northern English city, was filmed by The Times giving the journalist, who was posing as a Pakistani father of two teenage daughters, advice on how to arrange a forced marriage for his youngest daughter without alerting the attention of authorities.
“If she is mentally or physically ready and she is 15 or 16 years old, then there is no harm in it,” the mother-of-four said, in footage shown on the publication’s website.
Forced marriage is illegal in Britain and the minimum age of marriage in England and Wales is 18, although 16 and 17-year-olds can marry if they have parental consent.
Mrs Javed is a well-known figure in Bradford’s thriving Asian community and alongside her job as a solicitor she serves as a school governor and sits on Bradford council’s fostering panel.
The 44-year-old has also been a Labour Party councillor in Bradford, quitting her position two years ago to run for parliament for the far-left Respect Party.
Respect’s controversial leader George Galloway, an outspoken supporter of Iran, described Mrs Javed’s conversion away from Labour as a major coup, adding that she had “prestige and intellectual firepower”.
But Mrs Javed was also caught giving advice to the undercover reporter on how to get a visa for his 18-year-old daughter’s husband to come to the UK against her wishes.