Faiza Shaheen WILL stand as an independent candidate in general election

She's still standing even though Labour blocked her

Faiza Shaheen on Newsnight

Faiza Shaheen has announced she will be standing as an independent in the general election. She’ll be standing in Chingford and Woodford Green, the seat she was initially supposed to contest for the Labour Party before he candidacy was blocked.

In a statement announcing her decision to stand, Shaheen said: “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.”

She went on to say that she was “standing here to win, to beat the Conservatives, to finish what we started.”

Her statement concluded: “With its recent actions, many local people think Labour has handed a winnable seat to the Conservatives for another five years. I aim to show that there is a progressive alternative to both parties that puts Chingford and Woodford Green first.”

Shaheen was blocked by a panel of Labour’s National Executive Committee from standing as the party’s candidate for Chingford and Woodford Green. The party’s decision to prevent her from being a Labour candidate stemmed from 14 tweets she had either liked or posted herself. Dating back to 2014, these included her liking tweets from Green Party politicians before she was a Labour Party member, her discussing her experiences of Islamophobia in the Labour Party, and her liking tweets about Israel.

Shaheen was Labour’s candidate in Chingford and Woodford Green in the 2019 general election and has been campaigning heavily in the constituency since then.

The news won’t be welcomed by the Labour Party who are facing a number of challenges from the left in individual constituencies in the general election.

The former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is standing as an independent in Islington North. A number of less well known left wing independents are also standing in seats across the country.

Meanwhile, the Green Party is heavily targeting Bristol Central in the hopes of unseating Labour’s Thangam Debonnaire and replacing her with their co-leader Carla Denyer. The Greens are also planning to stand a record number of candidates in the general election.

Speaking after Shaheen’s announcement, a spokesperson for Labour’s left wing faction Momentum said: “Once again, Keir Starmer’s hyper-factional war on the Left has created an almighty mess for Labour. A week ago Labour had a respected, popular, local candidate democratically selected by local party members in Chingford.

“But instead of supporting her, Starmer’s allies decided to purge Faiza on spurious grounds and parachute in one of their own clique from outside the constituency. Outrageously, the grounds cited to block Faiza included her discussion of her own experiences of Islamophobia within the party, in a textbook case of institutional racism. Now what should have been a slam dunk has turned into a massive challenge for Labour. Starmer’s stitch ups have backfired once again.”

Chris Jarvis is head of strategy and development at Left Foot Forward

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