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Veteran Indian-origin MP fights back malicious’ deselection attempt in UK

Veteran Indian-origin MP fights back malicious’ deselection attempt in UK
March 23
10:32 2019

LONDON: Veteran Indian-origin politician Virendra Sharma, who has been a Labour Party MP in the UK Parliament for over a decade, has lashed out at a “malicious” attempt by a local group to try and deselect him.
Sharma, who represents the constituency of Ealing Southall in south-west London with a massive Punjabi-origin electorate, said he was proud to have been able to fight back an attempt to divide the community along racial lines by a local labour union branch.

“The malicious no-confidence motion in a first generation immigrant Member of Parliament by self-appointed anti-racist campaigners smacks of hypocrisy, said 71-year-old Opposition politician.
I am proud to continue to serve Ealing Southall as their MP with a majority of more than 22,000 votes, the largest of any MP here in history. The vast majority of members continue to support me as do voters locally, he said.

The no-confidence motion tabled by a local Unite labour union body, which forms part of the wider Labour Party membership, claimed ‘Sharma has failed to work with the local membership or act as an adequate constituency MP’.
It is seen as part of wider moves within the Jeremy Corbyn led Labour Party to deselect MPs believed to be moderate and critical of some of the leadership.
Unite distanced itself from the local action and stressed that any deselection decisions are taken at a national level.

Unite has thousands of branches across the UK. Any decision on whether to support the deselection or reselection of MPs will be taken exclusively by Unite at a national level, a Unite spokesperson said.
Sharma believes the no-confidence vote took place because he refused to play local political games and have publicly criticised some Labour figures .
He said: The action today is motivated by religious and racial grounds, and those trying to split our local party do not represent our movement’s vibrant history of anti-racist campaigning.
Today’s racism is more subtle, better hidden, but old prejudices still linger. Southall is the most diverse area in the country, and should be represented by that diversity, he said. PTI



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