Why Labour was wrong to deselect Faiza Shaheen

<span>Faiza Shaheen addresses supporters after the Labour party blocked her from standing as a candidate. </span><span>Photograph: Piers Mucklejohn/PA</span>
Faiza Shaheen addresses supporters after the Labour party blocked her from standing as a candidate. Photograph: Piers Mucklejohn/PA

We write as London School of Economics professors and colleagues of Dr Faiza Shaheen, one of the UK’s leading experts on inequality. We have hugely benefited from her long-term collaboration with the LSE’s International Inequalities Institute and especially her work this past academic year, when she was hired by the sociology department to teach graduate students on our flagship MSc inequalities and social science. Faiza used her extensive campaigning and academic experience, both in the UK and globally, to provide excellent guidance and insight to our students. Her tolerance and respect for different perspectives and openness to debate was absolutely clear.

We were completely shocked that someone with her outstanding abilities, experience and dedication was deselected as parliamentary candidate for the Labour party for Chingford and Woodford Green. The utter disrespect shown to her by the manner of this deselection, especially given her own outstanding professionalism, integrity and commitment, was appalling. As colleagues of Faiza, who can testify at first hand to her many qualities, we are in an excellent position to state that she is exactly the kind of person who would be a major asset in the House of Commons.

Given this unfortunate and mistaken deselection, we therefore fully support her campaign to run as an independent candidate (Interview, 5 June), and hope that she is victorious and will be able to take her rightful place at the heart of UK public life.
Prof Mike Savage, Prof Suzi Hall, Prof Sam Friedman, Prof Suki Ali
London School of Economics

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