Chingford News

Faiza Shaheen resigns from the Labour Party

In a damning resignation statement, the former Chingford and Woodford Green candidate said the party had ‘moved so far away’ from her values, reports Marco Marcelline

Faiza Shaheen, Credit: Alex Scott

Faiza Shaheen has resigned from the Labour Party, citing a “relentless campaign of unfair treatment, bullying, and hostility” at the hands of the party. 

In a resignation statement posted on X (formerly Twitter) earlier this afternoon, the former Chingford and Woodford Green Labour candidate said she made the decision with a “heavy heart”, adding that the party had “moved so far away” from her values.

The Labour Party, Faiza said, had subjected her to “unfair treatment” since her 2022 reselection that included being “penalised” for speaking on her experiences of Islamophobia in the party. She also said she had been “prevented” from speaking out on public sector wages and Palestine.

The Echo asked London Labour if candidates are blocked from speaking on Islamophobia in the party, and on Palestine but we did not receive a response.

Today was the last day for Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) to select candidates for election. In response to Faiza’s resignation, a Labour spokesperson said: “We are focussed on electing a Labour government and delivering the change that people in Chingford and Woodford Green and across the country need.”

The left-winger promised to make an announcement regarding her political future tomorrow (5th June).

The move comes following what many in the left of the Labour Party describe as a “purge” of socialist candidates.

Just days before Faiza’s deselection, Brighton Kemptown MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle was blocked from re-standing due to a complaint about his conduct, while the political future of left-wing firebrand Diane Abbott was uncertain for days before leader Keir Starmer belatedly said she could stand on Friday (31st May).

Brent councillor Shama Tatler was picked as Labour’s candidate for Chingford and Woodford Green the day after Faiza’s removal. Faiza has described Shama as someone with “no links to [the local] community”. Shama launched her campaign with Redbridge and Waltham Forest council leaders Jas Athwal and Grace Williams over the weekend where she promised a vote for Labour will be a “vote for change”.

Neither Shama nor Chingford and Woodford Green Labour Party have commented on Faiza’s deselection. 

The former Chingford and Woodford Green Labour candidate was deselected one day after she had a meeting with an NEC panel over 14 tweets she 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. 

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“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 on Newsnight, 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 exessed I was sorry in the [NEC] meeting.”

An audio-recording of the meeting released last night (3rd June) by Channel 4 News shows Faiza apologising for not having been able to secure childcare for her crying baby after being given less than six hours notice of the meeting. 

As her baby wails during the call, Faiza is heard saying “my baby can feel my stress”.

A local Labour party source speaking to the Echo said he was not “at all surprised” by the announcement, and added that the party had in “large part moved away from Faiza, her values, and the values of her supporters”.

Amid rampant encouragement among her supporters to run as an independent, the source said “a lot of people” within the Chingford and Woodford Green Labour Party were re-evaluating their membership. 

On Friday (31st May), hundreds of supporters turned up at a Highams Park rally to show their support for a visibly overcome Faiza. 

At the rally, Sarah Chaney, one of the lead organisers in Faiza’s campaign, told the Echo that she felt “crushed” by the deselection. 

She said: “The thing that really strikes me [about the deselection] is the lack of humanity; the inability to understand that these are real people’s lives; Faiza’s life; mine; all the hundreds of people who came out today to support her who have spent the last two years hoping for a better life in Chingford and Woodford Green – and that’s just been snatched away from us.”

Meanwhile, on Sunday (2nd June) Faiza took to X to slam a Labour volunteer who turned up to her house to canvas for Shama Tatler. She accused the volunteer of intentionally harassing her, saying: “To be clear, when you use Labour Party app you see the names of who lives there I’m livid”.

Following online criticism and concern for the canvasser’s safety, Faiza removed a photo she had posted of them today (4th June) saying: “I realise that in my anger I made the wrong decision, even though you couldn’t see their face. This person does know me, so I don’t believe it was accidental but part of efforts to harass and hurt me.”

Chingford and Woodford Green Labour Party did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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