06 February 2016

Labour would not let us stand, say Muslim women

Muslim women say that they were blocked from standing for the Labour party and accused officials of turning a blind eye to discrimination.

They claim that male Muslim Labour members in Peterborough and Birmingham prevented local women from representing the party at council elections. Women who had hoped to become candidates in 2007 have come forward complaining of a “smear campaign” and family intimidation.

Fozia Parveen, an optician, told Newsnight that “members of the local Labour party” stopped her from running as a Labour councillor in Birmingham.

“At the time, I was aware of a smear campaign against me, they said that I was having an affair with one of the existing councillors . . . I was quite taken aback,” she said. “People were turning up at my family home trying to intimidate my mum.”

Shazia Bashir, who was the first choice for Labour in a Peterborough ward in 2007, also suggested that Muslim men in the party “pressured” her into stepping down. They deny this claim. [The Times (£)] Read more