Chingford News

50 Chingford and Woodford Green Labour Party members resign over Faiza Shaheen

In an open letter to Labour leader Keir Starmer, the members, who include a local councillor, and seven senior local party officers say that Faiza was deselected in an ‘anti-democratic’ way, reports Marco Marcelline

Faiza Shaheen on campaign trail, Credit: Alex Scott

50 Labour party members from Chingford and Woodford Green have resigned their membership over what they call the “inhumane and degrading” treatment of the deselected parliamentary candidate Faiza Shaheen. 

In an open letter to Labour leader Keir Starmer, the members, who include a local councillor, and seven senior local party officers say that Faiza was deselected in an “anti-democratic” way.

They wrote: “Our democratically elected candidate for Chingford and Woodford Green, Faiza Shaheen, has been deselected in an appalling and unfair manner. Faiza was selected by the constituency members in a fair and open contest, accruing more votes than the other three candidates put together. The process of deselection overturned this election result. and is anti-democratic.”

The letter’s signatories also described the deselection as one that was “carried out in a manner contrary to natural justice or any proper due process… and based on spurious grounds.”

Rosa Gomez, a Redbridge councillor for Churchfields ward announced her resignation from the Labour Party yesterday, citing Faiza and “bullying” and “mistreatment” from Redbridge Labour figures.

Responding to the resignations, Faiza, now an independent candidate, said: “Both in the run-up to the 2019 General Election, and since I was reselected two years ago, the people that signed this letter have been the bedrock of Labour’s presence in Chingford and Woodford Green. They have been the ones who have been out, week after week, delivering leaflets, taking note of residents’ concerns and talking to people from the community.”

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She continued: “That they are so disgusted by the way the Labour Party has acted that they have not only resigned from the Party, but are also actively supporting my campaign, speaks volumes. They are joining a wave of ordinary residents who want their voices heard. Together we are building a community led and people-powered campaign to elect an Independent MP for Chingford and Woodford Green.”

A spokesperson for London Labour said: “The Labour campaign has seen hundreds of activists, many of whom haven’t been active before or for a long time, join the campaign trail in the last week, with a renewed sense of purpose to deliver a Labour MP for Chingford and Woodford Green and a Labour government after 14 years of Tory failure.”

The news comes as Faiza’s Labour replacement Shama Tatler has been actively campaigning in Chingford and Woodford Green. 

Writing on X, the Brent councillor and cabinet member said: “Another brilliant weekend, speaking to so many residents ready for change after 14 years of broken Tory promises and decline. My pledge to you is this: less rhetoric, more results. If you put your trust in me on 4th July, I will get on with the job and deliver for this community.”

Her canvassing team over the weekend appeared to consist of a considerable number of Redbridge Labour councillors. Waltham Forest councillors who have appeared with Shama to support her campaign include Khevyn Limbajee, Caramel Quin, and Elizabeth Baptiste. 

Meanwhile, Faiza told supporters at a packed-out South Chingford church hall on Sunday (9th June) that her run as an independent candidate marked “the beginning of a new politics,” and vowed to continue to be “the working-class Muslim girl who is going to annoy [Iain Duncan Smith]”.

The independence bid comes after an already tumultuous first week of campaigning in the seat, with Labour being criticised for putting an election poster for Shama in the Chingford Mount Greggs that Faiza worked at as a teenager.

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