Labour MP Apsana Begum signed off sick after ‘sustained campaign of misogynistic abuse’

A Labour MP is taking time away from work after suffering from “a sustained campaign of misogynistic harassment and abuse”.

Apsana Begum, MP for Poplar and Limehouse, posted a statement on Twitter on Wednesday night that said she attended hospital on June 12 and was subsequently signed off work by her GP.

She said: “For the duration of my time as a Member of Parliament, I have been subjected to a sustained campaign of misogynistic abuse and harassment.

“As a survivor of domestic abuse, it has been particularly painful and difficult. This abusive campaign has had a significant effect on my mental and physical health.

Ms Begum, who was part of the 2019 intake of MPs, added that her staff and office will still be open to help people in her east London constituency while she is off sick.

Her absence from work means that she will not be able to take any part in Labour’s trigger ballot process. This is when local party and affiliate branches decide if the sitting MP will contest the next general election or if there should be a new selection process.

Ms Begum added: “I am very concerned by the wider circumstances surrounding the trigger ballot process. This has included complaints of alleged rule-breaking and alleged misogynistic intimidation.”

She said it is important the Labour Party investigates these claims and warned that the intimidation she has faced “will be all too familiar to women, socialists, and those from ethnic backgrounds.”

The east London MP was supported by a number of her Laboour colleagues. Ian Bryne MP wrote on Twitter: “The bravery shown by Apsana over the last 3 years of relentless attacks is remarkable but sickening it’s continuing.

“I hope the party realise they have a duty of care and act to protect my friend and colleague.”

And former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: “Apsana is a strong good woman. Appalling treatment. My full support.”

Ms Begum first spoke of being a victim of domestic violence after being cleared of fraud charges in July last year.

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