Picture: Flickr.com

A 77-year-old Tory peer who founded the Conservative Muslim Forum has married a former waitress who is 45 years younger than him.

Mohamed Iltaf Sheikh last month wed Guli Muradova, 32, at Lambeth Register Office in South London.

Five years ago, The Mail on Sunday revealed how he had struck up a close friendship with Muradova after meeting her at a cafe where she worked.

The multi-millionaire, who made his fortune in the insurance industry, gave the Uzbek student his House of Lords business card and took her for meals at hotels including The Dorchester.

But the peer’s then wife, Lady Shaida Sheikh, was unhappy about the relationship and confronted Muradova at the cafe in Victoria, Central London.

Miss Muradova returned to Uzbekistan, but Lord Sheikh pursued her and asked for her hand in marriage.

The couple planned to wed in an Islamic ceremony in London in December 2012, but Lord Sheikh called off the marriage two days before the ceremony. Lord Sheikh divorced his wife of 25 years and he and Muradova were reconciled.

They marked their wedding with a lavish celebration at the five-star Grosvenor House hotel in Park Lane. It is not known if any members of Lord Sheikh’s family – including his daughter, Zarina, who is 15 years older than the bride – attended, but the bride has been keen to publicise her married status.

On her website, she titles herself ‘Mrs Guli Sheikh’ and states: ‘Lady Guli became happily married to Lord Mohamed Sheikh in 2018 and she has a wonderful and trusting relationship with her husband.’

The couple have also attended several official functions together at foreign embassies in London and posted photographs from the events on her website.

Born in Kenya and raised in Uganda, Lord Sheikh was made a life peer in 2006 after being nominated by Michael Howard, the then Tory leader. 

In August, the peer said he had received ‘vile’ Islamophobic emails after calling for Boris Johnson to be removed from the Conservative Party for suggesting veiled Muslim women resembled ‘letter boxes’ and ‘bank robbers’.

Johnson was last week cleared of breaking party rules by making the comments.

Lord and Lady Sheikh declined to comment, as did his former wife.

Daily Mail