Saima Mohsin, international journalist and presenter, was on a tour of the grounds and house with friends yesterday (Monday, May 16).
Despite having a National Trust membership, and the tour being free, Ms Mohsin said she was shouted at by a member of staff who told her she ‘shouldn’t be there’ and dug her fingers into Ms Mohsin’s arms, it has been alleged.
National Trust has said it is investigating the incident.
A spokesperson said: “Our management team at Petworth House were made aware of Saima’s distressing experience when she visited last week. They were quick to follow up her concerns on the day. It has now been escalated for fuller investigation.”
Taking to Twitter to share her ‘humiliating and unacceptable’ experience with her 235,000 followers, Ms Mohsin said described the incident as ‘humiliating and unacceptable’
She said: “So… I was physically grabbed and kicked out of the chapel (yes the chapel) @PetworthNT
“The woman told me ‘get out, out’ in front of everyone. She said I ‘shouldn’t be there, go on, out’.
"Imagine having the audacity and empowerment to think you can physically grab someone and kick them out just because you decide they don’t belong there.”
She added: “We were told to catch up with the tour and ask to join. So when she invited me in to the chapel I thought she was welcoming me. She did the opposite.
“She not only kicked me out. She shouted get out in front of the group and she physically dug her fingers into me.
“I was left in tears and in shock. Instead of being welcomed and included, I was excluded. It’s taken a while to type this out cause I have been so shaken. I had paid entry, in fact I’m a member of National Trust and first time in two years I decided to go. And reader… the tour is free.
"To clarify this was somebody working at Petworth House for National Trust no not the tour guide, but guide didn’t bother to intervene either. No reason to tell me to get out, grab my arm or to push me out but nobody else was. It’s that derogatory tone that says it all.”
She later added: “Thank you all for the solidarity. I was in so much shock after this happened I wasn’t even able to share. For some people we are simply not equals or worthy of respect. It hadn’t even occurred to me that’s it’s assault and for those suggesting I called the police where do I begin?”
Hundreds of people piled onto the thread the express their solidarity and offer their support for Ms Mohsin with many described the alleged behaviour of the staff member ‘outrageous’ and ‘shameful’.