Hugh Grant 'endorses' Labour Muslim candidate Faiza Shaheen

Hugh Grant 'endorses' left-wing Muslim candidate Faiza Shaheen ahead of UK General Election
3 min read
05 December, 2019
Shaheen, who comes from a Muslim home, has been compared to US Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, in her attempts to represent the voices of PoC women from all over Britain.
Grant gave a speech to crowds in the constituency of Chingford and Woodford Green. [Twitter]
Love Actually star Hugh Grant was confronted by hecklers when he endorsed a Labour Party candidate in London on Wednesday evening, a week before the UK goes to the polls.

The actor, who has been vocally backing candidates fighting for Conservative-backed seats, was accused of campaigning for a "racist" party as he endorsed Labour Party candidate, Faiza Shaheen.

Grant was giving a speech to crowds in the North East London constituency of Chingford and Woodford Green, a seat which has been held by Conservative Brexiteer Iain Duncan Smith for the past 27 years.

After Grant's address hecklers criticised the actor for his support of Labour, which has been criticised on issues surrounding alleged anti-semetism in the party

Read more: Where do the UK's political parties stand on the Middle East?

One protester held a placard with "Corbyn supported terrorists - unfit to be PM" written on it, whilst asking Grant why he was supporting a "racist" party.

In response to the attacks, Shaheen stressed that the Labour Party was "very sorry" about "mistakes" concerning complaints about anti-semitism.

"I am being subject to Islamophobia and it's been really upsetting actually being a woman of colour [WoC] running here and being subject to the racism," she said.

She also spoke about Brexit and social care.

"We have to do something about those huge regional inequalities, we have to do something about the lack of investment in our NHS, in our schools.

"We have to do something to tackle the way in which we talk about immigration and the endless scapegoating."

Read more: What Labour's women can learn from their US sisters, Tlaib and Omar

Grant spoke to the crowd on why he started his campaign to help candidates running against Conservatives.

"I'm not flitting about supporting one party one day, one party another out of weirdness or capriciousness - I've got a very firm message which is that I'm terrified," he said.

"I think the country faces an emergency. We've got seven days left before, in all likelihood if we listen to that very depressing YouGov poll, we'll be ruled by Boris Johnson and a Tory majority and everything that goes with that. Including a hard Brexit - followed almost inevitably in one year's time by a no-deal Brexit," he added.

Shaheen was born and raised in Chingford, and comes from a Muslim background. Since she was put forward as a Labour candidate in 2018 she has been compared to US Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, in her attempts to revolutionise the political scene by representing the voices of PoC women in the UK.

Read more: Stop holding Muslim women to impossible standards

For this reason, Shaheen has said she has suffered a lot of abuse and discrimination on her campaign.

"In the 18 months since I launched my campaign to stand for the Labour Party in my home seat of Chingford and Woodford Green, I could already write a book about the different ways in which racism has reared its ugly head," writes Shaheen.

"The multiple emails I've received telling me to'shut my mouth' when I go on television - one with a gif of a black woman speaking."