Apsana Begum MP said:
“Today I begin a phased return after being signed off sick since 12th June.
“Whilst I am feeling better than I was, it saddens me to say that I believe that the Labour Party has failed in its duty of care in relation to my health and well-being.
“I have faced a relentless and sustained campaign of abuse and harassment, which has even included vexatious litigation seeking to send me to jail.
“I am still awaiting the outcome of the investigation of the conduct and behaviour of my ex-husband and others. I would like to place on record the stress and harm that this process has caused me and that I believe that the recent trigger process was used to further the domestic abuse and harassment that I have already endured.
“I want to make it very clear: I will not be silenced.
“As the Chair of the APPG on Domestic Abuse and Violence, I believe that the Labour Party has shown a lack of understanding regarding tackling domestic abuse, including post separation harassment. I feel a duty to all survivors of abuse to challenge what has happened. I have been contacted by women from all over the UK and locally, concerned about the treatment I have received.
“I do not accept the legitimacy of a trigger ballot, mired by rule breaking, intimidation and harassment and which was, at the very least, conducted by those who are close to my ex-husband whilst I was certified sick.
“I have written to the General Secretary David Evans setting out my views and have confirmed the notice already served (19th July) to the Labour Party that I am seeking advice and considering taking legal action.
“I am very conscious that the undemocratic trauma that has been inflicted in recent months is very damaging to the Party and local people.
“It has always been clear to me that my ordeal was also due to my being elected on a socialist anti-austerity and anti-imperialist green platform – and that I have stood firmly by these principles and local people regardless of the consequences.
“Labour Party members deserve genuine democratic accountability and empowerment. I have been made aware that there are approximately fifty complaints submitted to the Party regarding the trigger ballot. Until the Party addresses the issues at hand, particularly the treatment of local women, a fair, just, safe, or democratic process cannot take place.
“I want to once again thank everyone, everywhere, for all the solidarity that you have shown. I am particularly grateful to my staff and my office for continuing to support constituents in my absence. I know that many in our communities and across the country are struggling due to the cost-of-living crisis – with rising bills, the Government’s real-terms cuts to public pensions and benefits, and the “worst real wage squeeze in the G7”.
“Remain assured, I will be prioritising representing and standing up for the people of Poplar and Limehouse during this difficult time – whether that is in Parliament, on picket lines or campaigning in our communities.”