UK Muslim MP Apsana Begum to face Labour Party vote on whether she can stand in election

UK Muslim MP Apsana Begum to face Labour Party vote on whether she can stand in election
Allies of Apsana Begum, Britain's first hijab-wearing MP, say Labour Party members have broken rules to campaign for her deselection
2 min read
07 July, 2022
Apsana Begum was elected MP for Poplar and Limehouse in 2019 [Leon Neal via Getty]

British Muslim MP Apsana Begum will be subjected to a vote on whether she will be allowed to stand in the next election, despite having signed off sick from work due to misogynistic abuse.

Begum, who represents the east London constituency of Poplar and Limehouse for the Labour Party, will be subjected to a trigger ballot after the threshold for the vote was passed.

The ballot means local Labour Party members can vote on whether Begum can stand as their candidate in the next election.

Begum, who is Britain's first hijab-wearing MP, said last month that she had been signed off from work for a few weeks for mental health reasons.

She said she had been subject to a "sustained campaign of misogynistic abuse and harassment", which she found "particularly painful and difficult… as a survivor of domestic abuse".

She expressed concern over the trigger ballot process and urged the party to investigate.

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Begum's allies told Sky News that local party members have broken rules to campaign for her deselection, but Labour has refused to pause the vote to investigate.

"She's not against facing the process, she just wants to be treated fairly," one friend told Sky News.

"It is outrageous. Why would you not stop the process and investigate?"

Some Labour members condemned the party's move to subject her to the trigger ballot considering the adversity she is facing.

Former party leader Jeremy Corbyn described the treatment as "awful".

Begum was cleared last year of housing fraud, after her local council took her to court.

Her defence lawyer claimed the complaint that triggered the investigation, made in 2019 by her ex-husband's brother-in-law, was "false".

During the court case, she alleged her former partner, local councillor Ehtashamul Haque, had been emotionally abusive and controlling - allegations he has denied.