Sarah Champion hits out after sacking of councillor who backed Pakistan abuse stance
Sarah Champion has hit out over the deselection of a Labour councillor who defended her comments about British-Pakistani men abusing white girls.
Amina Lone had said Ms Champion was being “used as a scapegoat” when she was forced out from her role as Shadow Women and Equalities Minister earlier this month.
Ms Lone has herself now been barred from standing again for Manchester Council at next year’s local elections.
She was asked to reapply for her post after questions were raised about her campaigning record and attendance at council meetings and was not selected by the party.
But Ms Lone suggested her outspoken comments on gender equality were behind the decision.
And on Twitter, Rotherham MP Ms Champion said: “Oh the irony” and linked to a video of Ms Lone defending her after she claimed the UK had “a problem” of British-Pakistani men grooming and abusing young white girls.
Ms Lone had told the BBC Ms Champion had been “punished and used as a scapegoat because as a politician she’s an easy target”.
The Labour party said normal procedure had been followed with Ms Lone’s deselection.
“The process for selecting local government candidates is clear and outlined in the party’s rulebook, including the right to an appeal with the regional board,” a spokesperson said.
“We conduct a fair and rigorous appeals process with members from outside the area. The decisions made are based on evidence provided.”
But the councillor told Manchester Evening News that a faction within the local party was trying “get rid of an outspoken woman”.
“It is curious this action has been taken at a time when I am loudly championing gender equality within faith communities,” she added.