Apsana Begum MP signed off sick from work due to ‘campaign of misogynistic abuse’

Apsana Begum MP. Pic: Parliament

Apsana Begum MP has been signed off sick from work after what she claims has been “a campaign of misogynistic abuse and harassment.”

The Labour MP for Poplar & Limehouse issued an extraordinary statement on Twitter last night after attending hospital on June 12.

Begum is currently facing a process which could lead to her de-selection in the constituency.

Meanwhile, the Labour Party has been urged to halt the trigger ballot process for Poplar and Limehouse MP Apsana Begum following the allegations.

General Secretary of the Communication Workers Union Dave Ward tweeted: “I am very concerned about the allegations of threatening behaviour, harassment and misogyny in the re-selection of [Begum]. Whether it’s on a picket line or in parliament, Apsana has always stood up for working people and the trade union movement. She has my full support.”

John McDonnell said there are “allegations of harassment and threatening behaviour, involving sexism and misogyny” to “undermine Apsana’s position,” adding that he had urged the party to intervene.

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And Domestic violence charity Women’s Aid tweeted earlier this week: “Solidarity with [Begum]. All parties need to ensure that survivors of domestic abuse are not exposed to further harrassment in their roles, and understand the impact that ongoing abuse can have. Violence against women must always be taken seriously.”

An internal trigger ballot process is when the local party and affiliate branches vote on whether they want to go through the process to select their candidate to contest their seat in the next general election.

A member of Poplar and Limehouse CLP’s Executive said: “All procedures have been followed in accordance with the NEC procedural guidelines for Parliamentary selections in Labour-held seats with the close supervision of the regional party.

“We take all allegations of wrongdoing made seriously. It is worth noting not a single Labour Party branch meeting conducted has had any concerns of wrongdoing raised at the time with the executive committee member nominated to oversee the proceedings.

“To date, no single branch has voted to reselect our current Member of Parliament. The results so far is a clear reflection of how Poplar and Limehouse members have appraised her performance, of which a majority proportion are from Muslim and Bangladeshi origin.

“Our membership represents the diverse community that resides within Poplar and Limehouse. The Executive Committee continue to be firmly committed to uphold our members’ right to choose who their Labour Party parliamentary candidate will be at the next general election.”

In July last year, Ms Begum was cleared by a jury of housing fraud.

In a statement provided after her acquittal, Ms Begum claimed the case against her had been driven by “malicious intent” and had caused her “great distress.”

She said at the time: “I would like to say a sincere thank you to all my legal team and all those who have shown me solidarity, support and kindness.

“As a survivor of domestic abuse facing these vexatious charges, the last 18 months of false accusations, online sexist, racist, and Islamophobic abuse, and threats to my safety, have been exceedingly difficult.”

She added: “I will be consulting and considering how to follow up so that something like this doesn’t happen again to anyone else.”

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