East Ham Respect candidate Abdul Khaliq Mian told Socialist Worker, “Respect goes back to the basic Labour values. That’s why people like us. Lots of people have come to us and asked, ‘The MPs and councillors are doing nothing for us, can you help?’
“Wherever we can, we try to help them. So people are already looking to us.
“We’re drawing support from every community in Newham. We’ve had lots of white people involved in the campaign—you only have to look at the people who have gone out canvassing today—as well as support from Muslims and Sikhs, from Tamils and Sri Lankans, and from African communities.
“I have had an interview with Voice of Africa, a local radio station, and Lindsey German will have an interview there as well. Respect is a coalition of every type of person and we’re very proud of that.
“A couple of days ago we went to the local pensioners’ association in East Ham town hall. I was told that Labour’s Stephen Timms was invited but declined, which shows a lack of respect for old people. He should have been there.
“We had fantastic support. They were mainly white Newham pensioners with some ethnic community members.
“The tradition here in the East End is very important. Keir Hardie started it in 1892, when he stood in West Ham and became the first Labour MP. The values of Labour were carried on from there.
“We are strong in an area where Old Labour were once strong.
“We can repeat history — hopefully we can make our first breakthrough here and in a few other constituencies.”