Angry Chingford rallies for Faiza Shaheen, sick of Labour betrayal

by Chris Corney, Waltham Forest Socialist Party

A flashmob crowd of 500 plus showed up outside the Highams Park Tesco in London on 31 May, carrying homemade placards in support of Faiza Shaheen. The left-leaning former Labour candidate for Chingford and Woodford Green was unceremoniously dumped by the Labour leadership on 29 May after having stood in 2019, nearly defeating the reviled Tory Iain Duncan Smith.

Faiza Shaheen solidarity protest.
Photo: James Ivens

A series of speakers from the local community spoke with strong emotion about how shocked and betrayed they felt.

These were not seasoned socialists. For the most part, the speakers were typical Labour-voting Londoners, who would have been happy to vote for Starmer’s Labour Party until the exclusion decision.

Shaheen herself spoke to loud cheers, sounding shaken, but seeming to draw strength from the crowd.

The biggest cheer came when someone shouted: “Stand as an independent”. Shaheen said she would be doing some hard thinking over the next few days. It seemed at least possible that she may stand as an independent following the cue of Jeremy Corbyn in nearby Islington North.

Waltham Forest Socialist Party members attended and spoke to a layer of normally solid Labour voters who appeared profoundly repulsed by Starmer’s anti-democratic politics. The shopping precinct echoed with boos when his name was mentioned. People who would not normally have listened to our calls for a new party to represent working-class Londoners took leaflets with interest.