Shabana has been re-elected to represent Birmingham Ladywood.
Shabana has been re-elected to represent Birmingham Ladywood.

Shabana has been re-elected to represent the new Birmingham Ladywood constituency.

Speaking after her fifth election win in Birmingham, Shabana said:

A lot will be written about this campaign, and it should be. This was a campaign that was sullied by harassment and intimidation: of me, of my family, of the people who went out and knocked on doors, handed out leaflets, and tried to make their voice heard. Bravely, they continued.

I want to give my deepest thanks to everyone who kept going: knocked on one more door, had one more doorstep conversation, posted one more leaflet. Because this wasn’t just an assault on us – this was an assault on democracy itself.

British politics must soon wake up to what happened at this election. In Ladywood, and a handful of other seats across this country. While it will always be acceptable to disagree passionately it is never acceptable to intimidate and threaten.

We must never accept masked men disrupting a community meeting, terrifying those present. We must never accept physical threats and intimidation. Threats we were lucky never became reality.

And let me make this clear, because this matters deeply to me and my family: It is never acceptable to deny anyone their faith or to brand them an infidel. I know what a Muslim looks like, a Muslim looks like me. I know what Muslim values are, Muslim values are mine. And they are British values too: Decency, respect, kindness.

Amidst all this, let’s not forget: today is a day of triumph. They thought they could intimidate us, but they couldn’t. They thought they could silence us, but they couldn’t. They thought they could beat us, but they didn’t.

We ran a positive campaign here in Ladywood. We campaigned for change: change here and change in our country. I want to thank the people of Ladywood who chose to reject the politics of division, and embrace a politics of hope. They are a reminder of who we really are here.

Make no mistake, I know we have bridges to re-build. I know the votes we have lost here contain a powerful message. I know we have trust that we must earn back from my own community. To do that, we must deliver the change we have promised. Change, after 14 years of Tory misrule that has left its devastating mark on this constituency and so many others like it.

I have served Ladywood for fourteen years – and it has been the honour of my life. But I have always done so from opposition – powerless in a country that has been heading in the wrong direction for far too long. In the last four and a half years, we changed the Labour Party. Those of us who believed it must reconnect with working people and put country first and party second.

The road will be hard and it will be long – we know that. Throughout this campaign, we have never made promises we cannot keep, but we have promised to do the hard work of governing. And now I will fight, day and night, with the voice of Brummies at the heart of a Labour Government. To bring change to this country, which we so desperately need.

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