3 Jun 2024

Exclusive: Channel 4 News obtains audio of Faiza Shaheen’s Labour candidacy interview

News Correspondent

Channel 4 News has obtained an exclusive audio recording from Faiza Shaheen’s candidacy interview with Labour’s National Executive Committee.

Channel 4 News has obtained an exclusive audio recording from Faiza Shaheen’s candidacy interview with the National Executive Committee, held just hours before she was advised she could not run as a Labour candidate.

Released today, the tape sheds light on the sequence of events that led to the Chingford and Woodford Green prospect being told she could not stand for the Labour Party in her local constituency.

It comes amid a week of ongoing accusations against Labour of a purging of prominent voices from the left-wing of the party.

Channel 4 News understands the meeting was held on 28 May at 6pm, with the candidate given just a few hours to prepare, leaving her unable to find childcare for her young child.

In the recording, Shaheen is heard in some distress with her baby.  She expresses the limited time she has had to arrange childcare.

She is heard saying “my baby can feel my stress”.

This is the first time the public has heard how selection meetings for Labour MPs are conducted. The National Executive Committee meets tomorrow to finalise the Labour candidates for selection.

The three NEC members present on the call examine Shaheen’s social media activity dating back to 2014, including activity that she believes led to her deselection.

Alongside the new audio, Channel 4 News understands Shaheen was advised via an email at 12.35pm that the meeting had been scheduled for 6pm that day – an email she claims she did not see until 3.30pm.  The meeting went ahead for the scheduled time, before she was advised at 9pm the next day that she could not stand.

Channel 4 News shared these clips with Mish Rahman, who is a member of the National Executive Committee.

He described them as “harrowing”, insisting that Labour should be a broad church, but instead was “behaving like a tiny chapel”.

We approached the Labour Party for its response to the recording.
They told us: “It is vital that candidates at this general election uphold the highest possible standards. This meeting was convened shortly after concerning new material came to our attention which the NEC panel then carefully considered and discussed with Faiza Shaheen before reaching a considered decision that a change of parliamentary candidate was required.”