Shamima Begum’s lawyer to stand as east London MP in general election

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The lawyer who represented Shamima Begum’s family and driven a defamation case against Tommy Robinson is set to stand as an independent MP in east London.

Tasnime Akunjee has announced he intends to run in the Bethnal Green and Stepney constituency in Tower Hamlets at the general election.

He cited current Labour MP Rushanara Ali’s refusal to support a ceasefire in Gaza, during a vote in Parliament last year, as one of the reasons he was running.

The criminal defence lawyer appeared to compare his campaign to that of George Galloway, who unseated Oona King in the constituency in 2005 when he ran a crusade against the Iraq war.

In a video announcing his candidacy on Tuesday night, Mr Akunjee said: “Rushanara’s recent actions seem driven more by Labour Party policy than the will of the people she represents, and this speaks volumes.

“Take, for instance, her refusal to vote for a ceasefire despite the overwhelming pro-Palestinian sentiment in Bethnal Green and Stepney.

“Fifty-six other Labour MPs went against Keir Starmer’s orders, some even risking their senior shadow government roles.

“But Rushanara remained silent. Her silence was a betrayal of your humanitarian sentiment and the people of Bethnal Green and Stepney are rightly angry.

“Some of you may remember that we have this kind of betrayal before, when we voted out Labour’s Oona King 20 years ago.”

Ms Ali made history in 2010 when she became the first British Bangladeshi elected to Parliament.

She won a huge majority of more than 37,000 votes for Labour at the last election.

But in November the shadow business minister saw hundreds of pro-Palestinian protester gather outside her constituency office chanting “vote her out” and “Labour party shame on you” after she did not back the Gaza ceasefire vote.

She has now called for countries to “work together to urgently de-escalate this conflict” and an “immediate internationally supported humanitarian ceasefire” in the territory.

In 2014 she resigned as shadow minister after refusing to vote for military action against Islamic State in Iraq, saying she was concerned air strikes would cause further bloodshed.

Mr Akunjee represented “ISIS bride” Begum when she was stripped of her British citizenship and barred from returning to the UK on national security grounds in 2019. The Bethnal Green schoolgirl, who was born in the UK to parents of Bangladeshi heritage, was aged just 15 when she fled to join the terror cult in Syria in 2015.

Lawyers argued she was “brainwashed” and trafficked.

He also led the libel case brought by a 16-year-old Syrian refugee against Tommy Robinson, real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon.

The English Defence League founder was ordered to pay £100,000 in damages after wrongly accusing the teenager of “violently attacking young English girls” when footage of him being assaulted at school went viral online.

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Dulal Ahmed Chowdhury

Dulal Ahmed Chowdhury is the Editor of The Daily Dazzling Dawn. Previously, he has been serving in important positions in all the famous national dailies of the Bangladesh since the nineties. He has played a commendable role in journalism by participating in various events at the national and international levels. United Nations Conference, World Climate Conference, SAARC Summit are notable among them.

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