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Blocked Labour candidate Faiza Shaheen confirms she will stand as independent | Politics News

Faiza Shaheen, who was blocked from representing the Labour Party in the general election, has announced she will stand as an independent.

Ms Shaheen, who initially won the Labour nomination for Chingford and Woodford Green, said she had decided to run as an independent after voters told her they felt “disenfranchised” by the party’s decision to remove her as a candidate.

Labour removed Ms Shaheen as its candidate for the London constituency after she allegedly liked a series of social media posts that downplayed antisemitism accusations.

Yesterday she announced her resignation from the party, accusing it of embodying a “hierarchy of racism”.

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She said she was weighing up whether to stand as an independent in Chingford, and on Wednesday afternoon, confirmed that decision.

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She wrote on X: “I have reached this decision following hundreds of messages from people in my community, who say there are no options left for them.

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“They are tired of the Tories but now feel they can’t trust Labour.

She added: “They feel disenfranchised by Labour’s decision to remove me and I 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.

“I am standing here to win, to beat the Conservatives, to finish what we started.”

Ms Shaheen has accused Labour of conducting a “sham process initiated for spurious reasons” in order to remove her as its candidate in the northeast London seat.

At the last election in 2019, she came second to former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith, losing to him by just over 1,000 votes.

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However, on Tuesday the party’s ruling National Executive Committee (NEC) confirmed it would not endorse Ms Shaheen, an economist and author, and chose Brent councillor Shama Tatler to take her place.

Ms Shaheen claimed that she has faced “a relentless campaign of unfair treatment, bullying and hostility” that she had “never before experienced in all my personal or professional life”.

Her removal as a candidate sparked accusations that Sir Keir Starmer was carrying out a “cull” of leftwing candidates while parachuting those on the right into safe seats.

Last week Lloyd Russell-Moyle, the former MP for Brighton Kemptown, was told he could not stand after he was suspended from the party over what he called a “vexatious and politically-motivated complaint” against him.

The Labour veteran Diane Abbott had also claimed she had been barred from standing in Hackney North and Stoke Newington following her suspension from the party last year for a letter she wrote in the Observer in which she claimed that Irish, Jewish and Traveller people experienced “prejudice” rather than racism.

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However, following a backlash over how her case had ben handled, Sir Keir later confirmed that Ms Abbott was “free” to stand in the seat she has represented for nearly 40 years.

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The handling of both Ms Abbott’s and Ms Shaheen’s candidacies triggered the resignation of seven Labour councillors in Slough, who accused the party of racism.

Asked about the resignations earlier on Tuesday, Sir Keir said there were “brilliant Labour teams out in every constituency, fighting for votes in this general election”.

“We’re in good form, we’re making a positive argument about the choice before the country,” he said.

He has denied blocking leftwingers from representing the party and the ballot box, instead arguing that the decisions made were simply to ensure there was a crop of “high quality” candidates going into the election.

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