Faiza Shaheen running as independent in UK general election after being barred by Labour

Faiza Shaheen running as independent in UK general election after being barred by Labour
Faiza Shaheen said she was standing in the constituency of Chingford and Woodford Green as an independent after Labour barred her from contesting the seat
3 min read
06 June, 2024
Faiza Shaheen is running as an independent candidate in Chingford and Wood Green [Guy Smallman/Getty-archive]

Left-wing British politician Faiza Shaheen announced on Wednesday that she would be running as an independent in the upcoming UK general election after being barred by the Labour Party.

Shaheen, who is contesting the seat of senior Conservative Iain Duncan Smith in London's Chingford and Woodford Green constituency, announced her resignation from Labour on Tuesday after recently being deselected as the party's candidate.

Shaheen said she had decided to stand as an independent following hundreds of messages from people in her community who say there are "no options left for them".

"They are tired of the Tories but now feel they can't trust Labour," she said in a statement, adding: "They feel disenfranchised by Labour's decision to remove me."

"I am standing here to win, to beat the Conservatives, to finish what we started," she said.

"I am standing to give a voice to my community – the community that made me and has put their faith in me."

Labour's new candidate for Chingford and Woodford is Shama Tatler.

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"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 BBC quoted a party spokesperson as saying.

Shaheen previously ran against Conservative Duncan Smith in the 2019 general election, coming within 1,300 votes of victory.

She was barred from running for Labour after liking social media posts, including one that mentioned the "Israel lobby" and attached a clip from a US comedy show.

"You can't easily ignore them, because those are not just random people, they tend to be friends or people who move in the same circles as you," the post said.

"Those people are mobilised by professional organisations, but to a large extent, that is organic."

Shaheen told the BBC she did not remember liking the post.

"The line that's there about… they're in professional organisations, it plays into a trope, and I absolutely don't agree with that and I'm sorry about that," she added.

On Tuesday, Shaheen announced her decision to resign from Labour, saying she had been "penalised for describing my experiences of Islamophobia" and "prevented from speaking out on issues that really matter to me, including on public sector wages and Palestine".

The UK general election will take place on 4 July.

Labour is riding high in the polls at around 20 percentage points above the Conservatives, who are the current party of government.

But many Muslims and younger voters are dissatisfied with both major parties over their handling of Israel's war on Gaza.


In some areas, they could vote for independent candidates or those representing smaller parties like the Greens.

Whether or not they win any seats, if they take a significant number of votes from Labour in key areas, it will raise questions about the long-term sustainability of the party's electoral coalition, which Muslims have traditionally formed part of.