Ayesha Hazarika will have 'honest' conversation with Nicola Sturgeon and discuss Patrick Grady during Edinburgh Fringe show
A political commentator has said “no party is holier than thou” when it comes to sex pest scandals as she prepares to discuss Patrick Grady with Nicola Sturgeon during her Edinburgh Fringe show.
The panel show, taking place at the Fringe across dates in August, will include Nicola Sturgeon, Anas Sarwar, Ruth Davidson and Alex Cole-Hamilton.
Hinted by the mention of farming equipment, there will be conversations involving politicians, comedians and political commentators on recent sex pest scandals dominating Westminster.
Inspired partly by Neil Parish who resigned as an MP in April after saying he accidentally watched porn in Parliament whilst looking at a tractor website, the show will discuss the string of recent sex pest cases in Westminster including the resignation of Tory MP Chris Pincher over his conduct in a bar.
In the ranks of the SNP, MP Patrick Grady stood away from his party membership after he was found to have made a sexual advance to a teenage SNP member of staff.
Asked if she is going to talk about Patrick Grady during her discussion with the First Minister, Ms Hazarika, a former adviser to Ed Miliband said: “Absolutely, it is something that will come up.
"There’s a lot of Conservative MPs that are in the firing line right now and rightly so, but this is not an issue which is just restricted to the Conservative Party.
"No party, organisation or industry is holier than thou on this at all.”
On whether she has concerns about mixing sexual assault accusations with comedy, Ms Hazarika, said: “I am not worried about it because I think you can have light and shade in conversations about politics. I think you can look for the absurd and you can also talk about the things which are going very wrong.
“This culture is not a new thing and I saw lots of it when I worked in politics and started out in it in 1997.
"What’s different now is that people are speaking out about it and I think that is very powerful.”
Most looking forward to interviewing Nicola Sturgeon, Hazarika said: “I used to play Nicola Sturgeon when we were preparing for the televised leaders’ debate in the run up to the 2015 general election campaign so I'm very excited."
The broadcaster said her Nicola Sturgeon accent is “still a work in progress” but noted she was “very good” at shouting at Ed Miliband.
As well as discussions on partygate and Westminster, Ms Hazarika said there will be “relaxed” talks on Scottish independence.
Ms Hazarika said, as a Muslim woman, she brings a “unique” and “accessible” political voice to the Fringe as she commented politics can often be dominated by privileged men.
"I am not the lovechild of Jeremy Paxman and Kay Burley,” Ms Hazarika said: “It’s going to be a much more fun version of Question Time.
"Given this show has come into being due to the most ridiculous excuse in modern history, a question I might ask our guests and audience is what is the most ludicrous excuse you’ve ever used?”
Tickets for the shows are available at: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/ayesha-hazarika-state-of-the-nation-power-politics-and-tractors
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