Chingford News

Faiza Shaheen set to take Labour to court as anger over deselection grows

Faiza says she was victim to a ‘systematic campaign of racism, Islamophobia and bullying’ by the party, reports Marco Marcelline

Credit: Adam Scott

Faiza Shaheen is consulting lawyers over the Labour Party’s decision to deselect her from standing in Chingford and Woodford Green, as she argues she was victim to a “systematic campaign of racism, Islamophobia and bullying”. 

In a statement released this evening, Faiza said she has come to the “inescapable conclusion” that the Keir Starmer-led party has an “ingrained culture of bullying” and “a palpable problem with black and brown people”. 

She wrote that the party “thinks nothing of dragging a person’s good name through the mud in pursuit of a factional agenda, with no thought of the impact on committed members’ mental health and wellbeing.”

Faiza also referenced a series of issues that had curtailed her team in the two years since she was selected in 2022. These include the removal of a local organiser from her team when Faiza was seven-and-a-half months pregnant, being “banned” from speaking publicly on her experiences of racism in Labour, and being told the “curb the attitude” when she raised that Labour was not taking the concerns of its Muslim voters seriously enough.

According to The Guardian, Faiza’s campaign team was also blocked from producing videos that blamed inflation on “corporate greed”.  

These examples represent a “relentless level of hostility” from Labour Party figures that she says was worse than her treatment by her main opposition, the Conservatives.

The Labour left-winger, who came close to taking Iain Duncan Smith’s Chingford and Woodford Green seat in 2019, told BBC Newsnight that she had been called to a meeting with Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) over historic and recent social media posts.

The meeting was reportedly called after local Jewish party members had complained about a total of 14 tweets Faiza had shared or liked from 2014 to 2024.

One of the tweets she had liked mentioned the ‘Israel lobby’. A quote tweet of an old Jon Stewart sketch, it read: “Everytime you say something even mildly critical of Israel you’re immediately assailed by hordes of hysterical people who explain to you how you’re completely wrong and biased against Israel.

“Moreover, you can’t easily ignore them because those are not just random people, they tend to be friends, or people who move in the same circles as you. Those people are mobilised by professional organisations.”

Faiza apologised for the tweet, saying: “The line that’s there about ‘professional organisations’ plays into a trope and I absolutely don’t agree with that, and I’m sorry about that, and I expressed I was sorry in the [NEC] meeting.”

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The Chingford-raised economist said that she sat through the virtual meeting with “no time to prepare, a crying baby on her lap” and while suffering from a breastfeeding related condition called mastitis. Her friend Dawn Butler MP was allowed to attend the virtual meeting but was not allowed to speak, she added.

As anger over the deselection grows, this afternoon Faiza slammed Keir Starmer on X / Twitter, tweeting: “Please don’t undermine my credentials @Keir_Starmer, I came from a family with a violent father and spent part of my childhood on benefits. I’m now a visiting professor and teach at LSE. Public services really helped me, and I had to work so hard to get to this point in my life.”

She added: “Haven’t you hurt me enough already?”

The decision to deselect Faiza, as well as others such as Lloyd Russell-Moyle, and Diane Abbott has been described by detractors of the current Labour leadership as a “left-wing purge”. 

Earlier today it was revealed that Conservative MP Mark Logan had crossed the aisle to Labour. In a statement, he said: “We need renewed enthusiasm and optimism in both tone and in policy, and I believe that we are already seeing this through Keir Starmer and team.”

The news comes not long after former Natalie Elphike, perceived by many to be on the right of her former party, defected to Labour from the Conservatives. 

In April, Conservative MP and former health minister Dan Poulter also defected to Labour, saying he was frustrated at the crisis in the NHS.

The Echo is looking to speak to members of the Chingford and Woodford Green constituency Labour Party about Faiza Shaheen’s deselection. If you are interested in sharing your thoughts, please contact: [email protected]

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