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Sunday, 23 January, 2000, 17:30 GMT
Women MPs KO Tyson visit

Mike Tyson Women Labour MPs had Tyson visit on the ropes

An invitation to boxer Mike Tyson to tour the House of Commons has been withdrawn - after female Labour MPs objected.

A cross-party Commons boxing group had wanted to invite the former heavyweight champion to Parliament prior to his fight against Julius Francis next Saturday.

Mobbed in Brixton
But several female MPs muscled in, protesting against a convicted rapist being welcomed to the House.

Lorna Fitzsimons, Labour MP for Rochdale, said a visit would have been "inappropriate".

She said it "would have overshadowed all the important work by the government, which has taken rape and domestic violence so seriously".

On Sunday Tyson limited his public appearances to a spot of shopping, visiting West End boutiques and a video shop.

At Proibito in Oxford Street he paid about 630 for about 10 items of clothing, including a 110 Versace jumper and an Iceberg black woolly hat.

Harrods closed

At Videozone in Knightsbridge, he chose several episodes of TV series The Sopranos, the Clint Eastwood western The Unforgiven, and a thriller, The Last Witness.

But he was unable to enter Harrods because the department store is closed on Sundays and was not about to bend its opening hours for him.

While Tyson shopped, trailed by journalists, promoter Frank Warren held a news conference in which he denied orchestrating publicity stunts for the boxer.

Frank Warren Frank Warren gesticulates during a news conference on Sunday
There has been controversy over the melee surrounding Tyson when he visited Brixton, south London, and a mosque in central London, earlier this week.

Warren, flanked by religious leaders from the Regents Park mosque, said: "Mike Tyson did not go to a mosque to generate pay-per-view sales.

'Freak show'

"He is trying to convince people that he is like the man on the street."

Mr Warren dismissed media coverage of the boxer as a "freak show" and said it had not reflected public opinion.

He said: "The people of Brixton showed their true feelings. People of all ages and races, and a lot of women, turned out and loved him."

Mr Warren's message to those who did not like Tyson was: "Don't watch him on the telly. Don't buy a ticket to the fight. He just wants to live his life."

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See also:
23 Jan 00 |  Sport
Echoes of Ali in Tyson furore
22 Jan 00 |  UK
Tyson takes in Tussaud's
22 Jan 00 |  UK
Tyson praised after walkabout
22 Jan 00 |  UK
Training, preparation and shopping
18 Jan 00 |  UK
Team Tyson: Iron Mike's minions
17 Jan 00 |  Sport
The life of Iron Mike

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