Statement by Yousuf Bhailok on Preston ‘vote splitting’

Yousuf Bhailok. Pic: Instagram

In response to a recent video we posted in which Faisal Bodi accused Preston parliamentary candidate Yousuf Bhailok of vote splitting, Mr Bhailok has written to us refuting the allegations and saying that the Muslims of Preston should vote for a Muslim rather than an atheist.

Here is an abridged version of the long statement he sent us:

On 11th June 2024 at 11:54am, a video was posted on “X” by 5 Pillars – a UK based news site relating to current Islamic affairs, to address an issue of “Vote Splitting” in the City of Preston.

The video stated that Yousuf Bhailok was “too late” to put his name forward as an Independent Candidate for Preston. This statement is complete nonsense and an attempt of the other independent candidate’s team (Michel Lavalette) to limit support from the Muslim community towards Yousuf Bhailok.

In order to address the issue of “lateness”:

– The final date for submission of all candidates to be placed on the MP ballot was 7th June. Yousuf Bhailok submitted his candidacy prior to this date.

– Rishi Sunak announced there would be a General Election on 22nd May 2024. However, the independents team claimed they invited prospective candidates for a “hustings” in March – before any member of the public had any ideas to when a General Election was to be called.

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Michael Lavalette

Notwithstanding the above two points, and in the interest of ensuring the people of Preston have a real chance of unseating Labour, and being properly represented in parliament on issues that concern them, Yousuf Bhailok kindly invited the other independent to a hustings open to the public, and to let the public openly decide which independent candidate they would like to endorse, with the other candidate kindly standing down in response to the public hustings event.

This offer was shut down by the other independents team, as it appears they have no interest in doing what is right for the people of Preston, that is if they claim to believe Yousuf is truly splitting the vote.

Addressing the issue of the “Muslim Vote”:

– There is only ONE Muslim Independent Candidate in Preston.

– The community have a clear choice to vote for:

  • A well respected, seasoned, extremely competent and well-established Muslim candidate that addresses the Muslims issues on Palestine, as well as issues raised by the people of Preston that concern the people of Preston. A chance to have a real voice in parliament representing the people of Preston, a place he has called home for over 60 years.
  • Or a non-Muslim candidate, that is also very vocal on the issue of Palestine, but unfortunately has contrary beliefs to the Muslim community on many other issues. Namely, Yousuf is a Muslim, the other candidate is an atheist. He does not believe in God, nor are his actions or conscience accountable to God in his eyes.
  • How can the MUSLIM community support a candidate to represent them with beliefs so contrary to their own, when they have an alternative candidate who can deliver their message.
  • LGBTQ+ – this is a very sensitive issue which the Muslim community feel very strongly about. Yousuf’s position on this is clear, he does not believe this should be promoted in schools to our young and impressionable children. The other independent candidate has actively promoted this, and gone as far as to back teacher’s positive stance on LGBTQ+ in light of resistance from Christian parents that were concerned about their children being promoted and presented LGBTQ beliefs in schools.

With all due respect to other independent candidate, Yousuf is a person with vast political experience and Prime Ministerial ability for public speaking. He has the ability to fight for Preston and Palestine on all fronts. The other independent candidate does not possess the requisite personality, political experience/contacts or actual ability to make a meaningful contribution in Parliament. Whilst he is extremely vocal on Palestine, is frankly not qualified to represent the people of Preston in Westminster.

Many comments on the initial post on “X” asked Yousuf to provide his comments on the Afghanistan issue. Yousuf would like to make absolutely clear, he did NOT support the invasion of Afghanistan as referenced on this MCB article.

An appeal to the whole Community in Preston, make a choice for your future, for who you believe will truly fight your corner in Parliament, and actually be able to make a difference.

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