The Labour Black Socialists group has issued a strong statement of support for Limehouse and Poplar MP Apsana Begum, who has been targeted for abuse and deselection by the Labour right after a political attempt to remove her by criminalising her collapsed on her acquittal on trumped-up housing fraud charges, describing the party’s abuse and targeting of her as a ‘patriarchal and misogynist attack’.
The full statement reads:
That concerns are being raised about harassment and bullying in the constituency of MP Apsana Begum.
That these actions are deeply associated with a person with whom the MP had been in a relationship.
The matter between them had resulted in court action which MP Apsana Begum prevailed.
These actions in the constituency are settling scores which the court ruled in favour of the MP.
The bureaucratic powers being used in the constituency against the sitting MP are not being applied fairly and transparently as either the former partner and/or close associates are deeply complicit in seeking to trigger the deselection of MP Apsana Begum.
The Labour Party had been contacted by the MP for assistance but we fear that the party had already made its commitments clear during the court proceedings. Her acquittal appears not to have had any effect in getting the party to support her.
A few years ago when some MPs, without foundation accused CLP members and officials of anti-Semitism and racism when deselection was being considered, the party actually came to their defence. In one instance, an MP who is complicit with Apartheid in South Africa, was supported by the party.
– To raise this issue with black and Muslim members in the Poplar and Limehouse CLP.
– To seek the support of women structures within the Labour Party to defend MP Apsana Begum.
The group seeks support of the Muslim community and all feminists in the trade union movement, parliament and the media to fight this patriarchal, misogynistic attack on an MP who had an irresolvable disagreement with a former partner. She is not his slave and the party should be against slavery – even of a domestic kind.
So far, Begum’s supporters say she has received no support from the party and Keir Starmer did not even put out a tweet congratulating her on her acquittal. Instead, a party spokesperson responded to members’ complaints about bullying and intimidation in the ‘trigger’ process designed to deselect her, by smearing her performance and the constituency’s MP, while the party has ignored safeguarding fears raised by an independent domestic violence advocate.
The party regime continues to target women MPs of colour, especially Muslim women.
SKWAWKBOX needs your help. The site is provided free of charge but depends on the support of its readers to be viable. If you’d like to help it keep revealing the news as it is and not what the Establishment wants you to hear – and can afford to without hardship – please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal or here to set up a monthly donation via GoCardless (SKWAWKBOX will contact you to confirm the GoCardless amount). Thanks for your solidarity so SKWAWKBOX can keep doing its job.
If you wish to republish this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.