Faiza Shaheen to stand as independent candidate for Chingford and Woodford Green after being dropped by Labour

Faiza Shaheen and Jeremy Corbyn
-Credit: (Image: PA Archive/PA Images)

Faiza Shaheen, who was dropped as a Labour candidate in Chingford and Woodford Green in the upcoming general election, has announced she is running as an independent candidate. Ms Shaheen announced on Tuesday that she had resigned from the Labour Party, saying her removal as a candidate had been “cruel and devastating”.

She said she had been “penalised for describing my experiences of Islamophobia” and claimed there was a “hierarchy of racism” in the Labour Party, adding she had “been prevented from speaking out” on issues including Palestine. Ms Shaheen, who narrowly lost to Sir Iain Duncan Smith in the same seat at the 2019 election, told BBC Newsnight she “thought” she was going to be the candidate for 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 Labour’s National Executive Committee on Tuesday in which they highlighted posts which raised questions about her suitability as a candidate.

READ MORE: Jeremy Corbyn warns Keir Starmer to stop 'dissing' his time as Labour leader

In a statement shared this afternoon (June 5) she said: "I am standing as an independent candidate for Chingford & Woodford Green at the General Election on 4 July. I have reached this decision following hundreds of messages from people in my community, who say there are no options left for them.

"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 candidate rooted in our community. I am standing here to win, to beat the Conservatives, to finish what we started. Join and volunteer, links in bio"

Asked on Newsnight what she wants to say to Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, Ms Shaheen referenced Diane Abbott, whose position in terms of whether she can stand as a Labour candidate for Hackney North and Stoke Newington has yet to be clarified by the party.

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?”

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