Faiza Shaheen blocked by Labour from running in east London amid questions over social media posts

Faiza Shaheen blocked by Labour from running in east London amid questions over social media posts

Labour has ousted its candidate fighting the Chingford and Woodford Green seat days after she launched her general election campaign, prompting threats of legal action.

Faiza Shaheen was not endorsed by the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) after she allegedly liked a series of social media posts that downplayed antisemitism accusations.

In a social media post on Thursday, Ms Shaheen said: “I’m in such shock, but I’m a fighter.

“As you can imagine, I’m a little overwhelmed right now, so will use this morning to meet with my campaign and legal teams to discuss my next steps, as well as have some hugs with my baby,” she said.

The politician, who gave birth six weeks ago, thanked her supporters and said she would divulge more details about her treatment by the NEC “very soon”.

Ms Shaheen was due to take on former Tory party leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith in the marginal north east London constituency.

She narrowly lost to him in the same seat at the 2019 general election.

A Labour source confirmed to the Standard that Ms Shaheen had not been endorsed by the NEC and said “she will not be the Labour candidate” at the vote on July 4.

She told BBC Newsnight she “thought” she was going to fight the constituency, but got an email on Wednesday evening that she said claimed she would “frustrate Labour’s purpose”.

The programme heard she was called to a meeting with a panel of NEC members on Tuesday in which they highlighted posts which raised questions about her suitability as a candidate.

One post said: “Every time you say something even mildly critical of Israel, you’re immediately assailed by scores of hysterical people who explain to you why you’re completely wrong, how you’re 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.”

Ms Shaheen, who is on the Left of the Labour Party, told Newsnight she does not remember liking the post in question.

“I know what’s wrong with it, of course, the line that’s there about ‘they’re in professional organisations’, it plays into a trope and I absolutely don’t agree with that and I’m sorry about that.

“And I expressed that I was sorry in that meeting yesterday over my crying baby but that’s one tweet.

“I’ve organised an interfaith vigil with a local Rabbi after the attacks, Hamas’s attack.”

She told the programme: “I feel foolish.

“Because everyone said I was the one socialist that was running, you know, it was a surprise that I wasn’t blocked earlier, everyone knows that. And of course they were going to come for me and I did something stupid and honestly I don’t remember liking that (tweet).”

Ms Shaheen also said she was in a “state of shock” and offered an emotional apology to her supporters.

“There’s so many people that have helped me,” she said.

“My phone is blowing up with local people trying to organise a rally and I just want to thank my old school teachers and the kids that came out tonight and I’m so sorry. I’m genuinely so sorry that it’s come to this.

“I know you really wanted me to be your MP and I really wanted that too.”

Asked what she wants to say to Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, Ms Shaheen referenced Diane Abbott, whose fate as a prospective Labour candidate for Hackney North and Stoke Newington remains in doubt.

Ms Shaheen said: “On top of Gaza, on top of Diane Abbott and now this to me, when there’s such clear double standards of how other people have been treated when stuff has happened… what message are you sending my community? What message are you sending the black community?”

Ms Abbott claimed there had been a “cull of left wingers” after she, Ms Shaheen and Brighton Kemptown MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle were blocked from standing.

Mr Russell-Moyle said he had been suspended by the Labour Party over a complaint about his behaviour and told he will not be eligible to be a candidate in July’s general election.

Jeremy Corbyn has also suggested Sir Keir is trying to "purge" the left wing of the party.