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Investigation launched after reports of 'atrocious' and 'threatening' behaviour at Seven Kings Labour branch meeting

PUBLISHED: 18:00 06 September 2019 | UPDATED: 01:00 07 September 2019

The Seven Kings Labour party branch meeting was described as

The Seven Kings Labour party branch meeting was described as "total disorganisation" by attendees. Picture: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA.

PA Archive/PA Images

London Labour has launched an investigation into a branch meeting in Seven Kings following reports of "atrocious" and "threatening" behaviour.

The chairwoman of the Labour Party branch said she is considering leaving the party after being "harassed and intimidated" at the nomination meeting for Ilford South's next MP on Wednesday, September 4.

Isha Isidore said she was left "shaken up" by the "atrocious" behaviour and called for the meeting to be postponed.

A spokesman for London Labour said it is conducting an investigation into the meeting after receiving a complaint.

Ms Isidore said she had tried to postpone the meeting due to irregularities in the membership list and people trying to enter the meeting without a valid form of photo ID.

Members who tried to attend also reported fake membership cards being handed out outside.

"We have had numerous reports of people swapping membership cards so we specified that they need to bring their membership card and photo ID," she said.

"We want to make sure everything is fair and transparent.

"But I was harassed and intimidated by the people at the meeting. I felt really threatened."

Members said the meeting went ahead despite the chairwoman calling for it to be cancelled and council leader, Jas Athwal, was nominated as the branch's choice to be the prospective parliamentary candidate.

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Cllr Athwal posted on Twitter thanking the Seven Kings branch for nominating him.

But Ms Isidore said the meeting should have been voided.

She said the chairwoman and secretary, Abdur Rashid, had to be present for the vote to be counted, but both left and called for the meeting to be postponed.

"It was an organised attempt to stop the membership ID process from happening," she said. "I wanted ID checks to make sure it was fair and there was no voter fraud.

"We need a clear and transparent system and that's what we were trying to do."

One member, who asked to remain anonymous, described the meeting as "total disorganisation".

He said: "People were trying to coerce their way into the meeting using deception tactics. People were handing out fake membership cards outside.

"No one should be treated how the chairwoman was treated."

Ms Isidore told the Recorder that she is considering leaving the Labour Party.

"I joined to make a difference and this is the kind of abuse I get," she said.

London Labour said branch meetings must always be a safe space for individuals and it takes swift action to investigate and deal with complaints.

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