Around 60 Respect supporters hit the streets of Shadwell in Tower Hamlets, east London, last Saturday to campaign in what is shaping up to be a closely fought council by-election on Thursday 9 August.
Respect’s candidate is Harun Miah, a well known community activist from Shadwell. Labour is putting up Michael Keith, former New Labour leader of Tower Hamlets council. Keith lost his seat to Respect last year.
“The campaign is going well and will be a battle between Respect and New Labour’s contrasting visions of Tower Hamlets,” says local respect activist Maggie Falshaw, who is Harun’s agent for the by-election campaign.
“New Labour stands for luxury high rise flats and privatisation. Respect wants decent affordable housing for everyone.
“We’re also campaigning against the privatisation of the East London Line and the council’s plans to transfer council housing to an Almo.”
Shadwell is one of the most deprived council wards in the country. It is a solidly working class area with a significant Bangladeshi population.
If Respect holds the seat it will send a signal to Gordon Brown that opposition to war and privatisation is as strong as ever. Respect is calling on supporters from across London to come and campaign in the ward next week to make sure it is fully canvassed.
Meet at Watney Market at 11am on Saturday, or at Shadwell tube station at 11am and 2pm on Sunday.