Labour MP Reveals She Is Signed Off Work Amid Campaign Of 'Misogynistic Abuse'

Apsana Begum said: "As a survivor of domestic abuse, it has been particularly painful and difficult."
Labour MP for Poplar and Limehouse Apsana Begum.
Labour MP for Poplar and Limehouse Apsana Begum.
Leon Neal via Getty Images

Labour MP Apsana Begum revealed she has been signed off work by her GP following a campaign of “misogynistic abuse”.

The MP for Poplar and Limehouse released a statement on Wednesday evening in which she announced she was unwell.

Begum said that as a domestic abuse survivor, the campaign had had a “significant” effect on her mental and physical health.

She wrote: “For the duration of my time as a member of parliament, I have been subjected to a sustained campaign of misogynistic abuse and harassment.

“As a survivor of domestic abuse, it has been particularly painful and difficult. This abusive campaign has had a significant effect on my mental and physical health.

She said that on June 12 she had to attend hospital and was subsequently signed off sick by her GP.

Begum said her office would continue to support constituents until she is able to return to work.

It comes after the Labour Party was urged to halt the trigger ballot process in her east London constituency amid the allegations.

Local parties are currently going through a system in which they and affiliates vote on whether they want their sitting MP to automatically stand again in the next general election, or they wish to have a full selection process.

However, concerns have been raised over the way some members have behaved at meetings and there have been allegations of intimidation and harassment of women.

Begum said that because she is unwell she has been unable to participate in the internal trigger ballot process “for a while”.

“I am very concerned by the wider circumstances surrounding the trigger ballot process. This has included complaints of alleged rule-breaking and alleged misogynistic intimidation. It is vital the party investigates these complaints properly and takes the appropriate action.”

Begum said the intimidation she had faced will be all too familiar to other women, socialists and those from ethnic minority backgrounds.

“If the Labour Party is to be the party of equality, it must do all it can to ensure that such behaviour is never tolerated,” she added.

A number of Labour MPs rallied to support her including Nadia Whittome who wrote: “Love and solidarity always Apsana.” Charlotte Nichols MP added: “Sending love and solidarity.”

Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who now sits as an independent, wrote: “Apsana is a strong good woman. Appalling treatment. My full support.”