The first woman in the UK to serve as a mayor while wearing a hijab has resigned from the left-wing Labour Party, alleging that there are Islamophobic and racist elements embedded within the ranks of the party.
Rakhia Ismail, a Somali-born refugee who came to the United Kingdom in the 1980s, resigned from her ceremonial role as the mayor of the London district of Islington last month. The former mayor has now announced that she is leaving the Labour Party altogether, saying that she experienced Islamophobia and that she felt marginalised as a woman of colour by her male colleagues.
“I’m saddened deeply that the party I thought was for justice and fairness and ‘for the many’ is the opposite, from my personal experience,” Ismail told left-wing British paper The Guardian.
“Therefore, I find it hard to represent Holloway Ward as a Labour councillor because I was battling with a party system