Former Glasgow Govan MP Mohammad Sarwar has been threatened with legal action by his brother who is unhappy about his portrayal in a newly published autobiography from the Scottish Labour grandee.
Mohammed Ramzan said he felt “betrayed & hurt” and “great distress” over claims from Mr Sarwar that he racked up thousands of pounds in debt at a shop he later sold to the former politician.
Mr Sarwar, who made his name as a cash-and-carry tycoon before entering politics, wrote that his brother had “failed” to make a go of the business, and bought it from him in the late 1970s, when it was in a “parlous state”.
However, Mr Ramzan, who is an SNP supporter and who previously donated cash to the independence campaign, said his brother had sought to portray himself as “the driving force” behind the family’s business successes.
In a statement last night, threatening legal action, he said Mr Sarwar had “made me out to be a failure in our early business life”.
The book later talks about how an “irreconcilable conflict with my brother” led to the two men each taking separate parts of the cash-and-carry empire after Mr Sarwar was elected as the UK’s first Muslim MP in 1997.
However, Mr Ramzan accused Mr Sarwar of attempting to “publicly humiliate me before the whole community”.
Mr Ramzan, who continues to run a Glasgow-based business, said he has sought legal advice, with a view to demanding his brother’s claims are left out of any further copies of the book, titled My Remarkable Journey.
“I will leave no stone unturned in seeking changes to these memoirs,” said Mr Ramzan, who donated £33,000 to the Yes Scotland campaign ahead of the 2014 independence referendum.
He added: “With a heavy heart, I have been left with no choice but to seek legal advice against the publishers & authors of this book, as the statements made by Mohammed Sarwar have affected my professional, political & personal reputation, causing me and my family great distress.”
The family rift comes as Anas Sarwar, the son of Mohammad Sarwar, seeks selection as a Labour candidate for next year’s Holyrood election less then a year after losing his Glasgow Central seat to the SNP.
A spokesman for Mohammad Sarwar said the former MP “stands by the content of his autobiography”.