LABOUR will be challenged in the courts over allegations an MP hopeful was blocked after a “systematic campaign of racism, Islamophobia and bullying”.

Faiza Shaheen had been expected to win the Chingford and Woodford Green for Labour from former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith, after losing out by just 2.6% of the vote in 2019.

However, she said on Wednesday evening that she had been blocked from standing in the seat again by Labour’s national executive committee (NEC).

Shaheen, a visiting professor in practice at the London School of Economics International Inequalities Institute, was banned from being the Labour candidate due to “liking” a series of social media posts on Twitter/X that allegedly downplayed antisemitism accusations, including a video from the Jewish US comedian Jon Stewart.

READ MORE: Labour parachute 'extremist' Israel lobbyist Luke Akehurst into safe seat

In a statement on Thursday, Shaheen said she would be taking legal action against Labour.

“This campaign of prejudice, bullying and spiteful behaviour has finally been rewarded by Labour’s NEC and my name has been added to the list of those not welcome in the candidate club. And it is no surprise that many of those excluded are people of colour,” she said.

“I have come to the inescapable conclusion that Labour, far from being a broad church encompassing different views, has an ingrained culture of bullying, a palpable problem with black and brown people, and thinks nothing of dragging a person’s good name through the mud in pursuit of a factional agenda, with no thought of the impact on committed members’ mental health and wellbeing.”

The news comes as Labour stands accused of blocking left-wing candidates from standing, replacing them with Keir Starmer loyalists.

Diane Abbott, the UK’s first black female MP, has said she is also banned from standing for Labour.

Lloyd Russell-Moyle, who was MP for Brighton Kemptown, cannot stand for Labour after being suspended by the party over what he called a “vexatious and politically-motivated complaint” against him.

Chris Ward, Starmer’s former deputy chief of staff, has been selected to run in Russell-Moyle’s place.

READ MORE: Labour condemned as candidate 'not endorsed' in row over social media posts

And elsewhere, Labour Together director Josh Simons and Israel lobbyist Luke Akehurst have also been handed safe seats.

Responding to Shaheen’s deselection, Abbott said: “Appalling. Whose clever idea has it been to have a cull of left-wingers?”

The Labour Muslim Network said the treatment of Shaheen was “unacceptable”.

The row meant that for a second day, Starmer’s General Election campaign has been dominated by questions about internal Labour Party affairs.

Asked if he is blocking left-wingers from standing, he said: “No. I’ve said repeatedly over the last two years as we’ve selected our candidates that I want the highest-quality candidates.

“That’s been the position for a very long time.”