Faiza Shaheen to stand as independent candidate

  • Post last modified:June 6, 2024
  • Reading time:8 mins read

Faiza Shaheen, the former Labour Party candidate, has announced she will stand as an independent candidate in the upcoming general election. Just last week, Shaheen said she had been “blocked” from standing for Labour. BBC Newsnight reported:

It is understood her candidacy was not endorsed by Labour’s National Executive Committee.

Now, Shaheen will stand as an independent. She wrote on her website:

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 local candidate, rooted in the community, and that such a voice is vitally needed.

I am standing here to win, to beat Iain Duncan Smith and the Conservatives, to finish what we started.

Why was Faiza Shaheen blocked?

For regular readers of the Canary, the following will be an all too familiar tale. As Middle East Eye reports:

Labour deselected Shaheen on 30 May over a series of social media posts that included expressing support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), praising former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, and supporting a friend’s decision to stand for the Green Party.

Now, of course, there’s always the possibility that we’re simply not understanding Keir Starmer’s big brain thinking in getting rid of anyone remotely left-wing. However, it remains a fact that Shaheen is the second woman of colour over the past month to come through for heavy handed punishment from Labour. Of course, Diane Abbott has only recently been able to confirm her candidacy for Labour.

Shaheen resigned from the Labour Party just a couple of days ago, saying:

I have been penalised for describing my experiences of Islamophobia and been dismayed at the hierarchy of racism that exists in my own party.

I have been prevented from speaking out on issues that really matter to me, including on public sector wages and Palestine.

My removal shows that the desires of local members and my community mean nothing to the people at the top of the party.

Outpouring of support

Hundreds of people showed up in Shaheen’s constituency of Chingford and Woodford Green to show their support:

Former leader of the Green Party Caroline Lucas was wholly unimpressed:

The Labour Muslim Network expressed shock at Shaheen’s deselection:

Journalist Aleesha Khaliq saw an obvious pattern in Labour’s racism:

Writer Monisha Rajesh decried calls for women of colour to vote for Labour:

Journalist Rachel Shabi said:

Journalist Mehdi Hasan pointed out that one of the apparent reasons for Shaheen’s deselection was her liking a tweet of Jewish-American comedian Jon Stewart’s show. Stewart himself had a short response:

‘Nasty little clique running Labour’

Faiza Shaheen is an intelligent, accomplished, brown Muslim woman who is excellent at representing her community. She has been punished for her left-wing politics, her expressions of experiences of Islamophobic racism, and support for Palestine.

It’s little surprise that Labour has announced her replacement is Shama Tatler – a member of the Jewish Labour Movement, who are a pro-Israel organisation affiliated with the World Zionist Organisation.

Starmer’s Labour and their intentions couldn’t be any clearer. Their disgraceful treatment of women of colour in the party has been allowed to go on precisely because it is women of colour who bear the brunt.

Left-wing politics isn’t worth shit without the support and talents of women of colour. After all, there’s got to be a reason why Starmer and his “nasty little clique” are so eager to get rid of them.

Featured image via YouTube screenshot/PoliticsJOE

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