Labour Party office daubed with anti-Israel graffiti after candidate axed

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Labour Party office daubed with anti-Israel graffiti after candidate axed

Defacing of Chingford and Woodford Green HQ with claims of Israeli control follows axeing of Faiza Shaheen

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Chingford and Woodford Green Labour HQ
Chingford and Woodford Green Labour HQ

The office used by Chingford and Woodford Green Labour Party has been daubed with antisemitic graffiti alleging that Israel is behind the axeing of a general election candidate.

Fazia Shaheen was deselected as the Labour candidate in the north-east London seat after concerns were raised about her attempt to run a divisive campaign in which she claimed Gaza was local voters “number one” priority, with further claims that she was the pro-Palestine candidate, while Conservative challenger Iain Duncan Smith represented Israel.

Shaheen was told she could not stand for Labour after due diligence showed she liked posts on social media making allegations about the Israel lobby, continued to back Jeremy Corbyn, and had shown support for the Green Party in the past.

On Saturday morning, Politico reporter Esther Webber shared an image on social media which showed the local Labour Party office had been daubed with graffiti reading: “Israel lobby out… don’t work for us” and “UK MPs for UK Not Israel.”

But later local Labour activists arrived to scrub the graffiti off of the front of the office.

The incident took place after Shaheem, who has been replaced as Labour candidate by Shama Tatler, held a rally on Friday at which supporters also shared similar claims about “foreign” influence in the UK elections.

A post on social media by the WCVCommunityVoices group praised Shaheem, and claimed she was “not corrupt or in the pocket of foreign governments.”

Responding to the graffiti incident, Tatler said: “This shameful vandalism is not just an attack on our campaign – it’s an attack on our whole community.

“Together, we will defeat the forces of hatred and antisemitism and take our positive message of change to residents here.”

The Jewish Labour Movement had last week confirmed that that had received complaints about Shaheen’s campaign for local members in the seat.

Jewish News has learned of further concerns about the campaign being run by Shaheen ahead of her being blocked. Local voters have complained that emailed messaged to her asking simple questions about local issues have gone unanswered.

Her social media post that Gaza was the “number one issue” on the doorsteps sparked further anger, as locals accused her of ignoring issues around the NHS services and transport, and instead focusing her efforts around being seen as “pro-Palestine”.

Her replacement, Tatler, is an experienced councillor and cabinet member on Brent Council. She has been a campaigner for better services for local people, and has been outspoken in condemning antisemitism in society.

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