04 June 2024

Dropped candidate quits Labour as party confirms list for General Election

04 June 2024

Labour has finalised its candidates for the General Election as one of those left off the list quit the party, accusing it of operating a “hierarchy of racism”.

Diane Abbott was confirmed as Labour’s candidate in Hackney North and Stoke Newington after a week-long row over her future with the party.

Ms Abbott said she was “looking forward to campaigning for a Labour victory” after the National Executive Committee endorsed her as a candidate.

But Faiza Shaheen, who was dropped as a candidate in Chingford and Woodford Green after liking a series of posts on social media platform X that allegedly downplayed antisemitism allegations, was not reinstated.

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.

The academic said she was deciding on her next steps and would make a further announcement on Wednesday.

Nominations for the election close on Friday, meaning Ms Shaheen could still put herself forward as an independent candidate.

A Labour spokesperson said: “We are focused on electing a Labour government and delivering the change that people in Chingford and Woodford Green and across the country need.”

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

Asked about the resignations earlier on Tuesday, Sir Keir Starmer told broadcasters there were “brilliant Labour teams out in every constituency, fighting for votes in this General Election”.

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

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