Labour Party members in the Chingford and Woodford Green constituency have chosen think tank director Faiza Shaheen as their parliamentary candidate to challenge local Conservative MP Iain Duncan Smith at the next election.
Shaheen, who grew up in Chingford, supports Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party and was chosen from an all female and black and minority ethnic shortlist.
The decision to restrict the shortlist to non-white women removed from the contest Jenny Lennox, another Corbyn supporter who had appeared to be Shaheen’s closest rival, enjoying the support of shadow chancellor John McDonnell and councillors from the cabinet of Haringey’s Labour-run “Corbyn Council“.
Shaheen, who heads the union-funded Centre for Labour and Social Studies (CLASS), was backed by Momentum and several unions. She has no experience of elected public office and is believed locally to have been a Labour Party member for approximately one year. On London has asked Shaheen to clarify this point, but received no reply.
Demographic change has helped Labour close the gap on the Conservatives in recent general elections, giving rise to hopes that they can oust Tory incumbent Iain Duncan Smith, a former party leader and minister.