Chingford News

Labour criticised for putting up election poster in Chingford Mount Greggs

The move, which has been described as ‘playground bullying’, is believed to have been motivated by the fact that independent candidate Faiza Shaheen’s first ever job was at the bakery, reports Marco Marcelline

The Chingford Mount Greggs, Credit: Google Streetview

Labour activists have been criticised for putting up a poster of their Chingford and Woodford Green candidate Shama Tatler in the Greggs that Faiza Shaheen worked at as a teenager.

On Wednesday (5th June), the Labour councillor for Higham Hill Kira Lewis replied to Faiza Shaheen’s X/Twitter announcement that she would stand as an independent candidate with a photo of a Labour poster on Chingford Mount’s Greggs. 

Pointing to the picture with a finger emoji, she wrote: “The Chingford Mount Greggs in question today”. 

Faiza has repeatedly referenced her past job at the Greggs in media interviews and in campaign materials. In her 2019 campaign, for example, she sent out leaflets with the slogan “from Greggs to parliament”.

Writing on X, the left-wing commentator Owen Jones slammed the Labour move, describing it as a “crude attempt at playground bullying”. 

He said: “Faiza Shaheen was purged from Labour, who tried to humiliate her, and cited Islamophobic treatment. She’s often proudly cited working in the local Greggs. So Labour activists put a poster of her replacement there, and this Labour councillor quote tweets her with it.”

X users joined in a wave of condemnation, with one writing: “I don’t get why you’d think this would warm people to the idea of voting for you. Showing no respect or decency to a new mother who has worked hard for the party for many years is pretty low.”

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A spokesperson for Greggs confirmed that the poster was not put up by any staff member, and that it was taken down by staff when it was spotted.

The Echo understands that Labour activists had a discussion with Greggs staff prior to the poster going up, with no concerns being raised. It is unclear if consent to put the poster up on the shop window was given, however. 

A spokesperson for Greggs could not confirm if staff verbally consented to the poster going up, but said there was a “miscommunication and misunderstanding” at the shop level, and that the poster incident “should not have happened”.

Greggs maintains an apolitical stance and has never endorsed a political party in any election. 

Waltham Forest Labour said that “no Waltham Forest councillors have any involvement in the matter”, adding: “Civility in public life is important and we hope that the general election campaign in Chingford and Woodford Green is appropriately conducted by all.”

A member of Faiza’s campaign told the Echo that she is running a “positive campaign that is focused on the people of Chingford and Woodford Green”.

After days of speculation, Faiza confirmed she would stand as an independent candidate on Wednesday (5th March).

In a statement on X, the former Labour candidate said she had reached the decision following “hundreds of messages” from locals who say “there are no options left for them”.

She said: “They are tired of the Tories but now feel they can’t trust Labour. They feel disenfranchised by Labour’s decision to remove me and feel it would be impossible for the party to win here without a local candidate, rooted in the community, and that such a voice is vitally needed.”

She is expected to officially launch her campaign on Sunday (9th June) in Woodford Green.

On Thursday, Yousaff Khan, the Workers Party candidate for Chingford and Woodford Green announced that he would withdraw his parliamentary bid as a gesture of support for Faiza. 

The far-left party’s founder George Galloway congratulated Yousaff on the move, writing on X: “A big thanks to our brother Yousaf. I promise your sacrifice won’t be forgotten by us. Good luck to @faizashaheen.”

Faiza Shaheen’s campaign has not commented on Galloway’s support and it is understood that there were no discussions between the Workers Party and her team before Yousaff’s candidacy was withdrawn.

The general election takes place on 4th July.

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