AMINA Lone – The sacked Labour candidate has told reporters that she has been punished for speaking out against Muslim grooming gangs and systematic abuse by Pakistani men.
Lone was one of the few Labour figures to defend the sacked MP, Sarah Champion after she was forced to resign following last week’s row over sexual abuse and an article in the Sun newspaper.
Ms Lone, a Manchester councillor with Pakistani heritage, stood up for Champion.
She told the BBC last week that Ms Champion had become a “scapegoat” for people hoping to avoid “difficult conversations” about abuse.
“She is not a racist but a brave woman speaking out about a politically awkward issue,” she added.
But now Labour have said that the 45-year-old cannot stand for re-election after seven years in her post, saying they are worried that she doesn’t attend enough meetings.
One Labour voter has said it is “one straw too many” and said it brought “shame to the Manchester Labour party”.
Ms Lone said that Labour’s is only interested in BAME (Black And Ethnic Minorities) councillors if they can deliver votes in a wholesale way”.
And she told The Sunday Times that she thinks she has been de-selected as a “punishment for speaking out and as a warning to others not to speak out”.
And the campaigner said the party had a “particular problem” with black and ethnic minority women.
“So many black and minority ethnic women in the Labour Party are terrified,” she said.
“The silencing is so acute, the fear is so acute. I’m the only one that’s speaking publicly and I’ve been warned a lot this year.”
Labour has said the selection process is fair and balanced.