In another blow to New Labour in east London, longstanding Labour Party member Haroon Juneja has joined Respect in Newham.
Haroon Juneja told Socialist Worker, “My late father was a supporter of the Labour Party from the time we came to Britain in 1971. I have been a loyal supporter, including being chair of a ward for a year.
“I have been a supporter and active member of Labour for over 20 years. I work as a postal worker at Mount Pleasant sorting office in central London and am a longstanding member of the CWU union.
“But I was disheartened when Iraq was attacked. I never believed the Labour Party would go that far.
“It was an unjust war that could have been avoided. Lots of British soldiers have been killed. I was disheartened to see a 19 year old boy killed recently.
“My son is the same age. I feel sorry for the family who have suffered bereavement.
“Traditionally, Asian people have supported the Labour Party, but they have been let down very badly. I supported Labour even after the attack on Iraq, but the leaders didn’t want to listen.
“Even now there is talk of attacking Iran. The Labour Party has gone down the drain. When I was chair of the local Green Street West ward there was a lot of opposition to its policies from the community and the general public.
“I have decided to break from Labour and join Respect. I have a lot of regard for George Galloway MP.
“There are also lots of issues in the country, such as the NHS – I don’t know where Labour is taking it. Elderly people and homeless people are having lots of problems.
“Some of the money spent on the war should be directed towards these places. I hope we can be heard across the country as Respect.”