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Bizarre row erupts in north London election race as Women’s Equality candidate labelled ‘anti-feminist’

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Women's Equality Party candidate Nimco Ali Women's Equality Party

A bizarre row has erupted after an election candidate for the Women’s Equality Party was accused of being “anti-feminist” for standing against Labour.

FGM survivor Nimco Ali is running in the Hornsey and Wood Green constituency, a seat won by Labour’s Catherine West in the 2015 General Election.

Born in Somalia, Ms Ali arrived in the UK aged four. Three years later she was forced to undergo female genital mutilation (FGM) when she was on a family holiday in Djibouti, east Africa.

A bizarre row has erupted after an election candidate for the Women’s Equality Party was accused of being “anti-feminist” for standing against Labour.

FGM survivor Nimco Ali is running in the Hornsey and Wood Green constituency, a seat won by Labour’s Catherine West in the 2015 General Election.

Born in Somalia, Ms Ali arrived in the UK aged four. Three years later she was forced to undergo female genital mutilation (FGM) when she was on a family holiday in Djibouti, east Africa.

She has campaigned against FGM throughout her life and co-founded the charity Daughters for Eve which works to protect girls and young women who are at risk.

But Ms Ali, who is only the second British-Somali to ever run for Westminster, said that since her candidacy was announced she has been on the receiving end of “misplaced anger” from Labour-supporting men and women.

The 34-year-old said she has received dozens of messages via email and social media accusing her of being anti-feminist for trying to unseat a strong female Labour MP.

One typical message read: “Why isn’t the Women’s Equality Party running in Conservative seats and against male candidates? Apart from against Philip Davies I don’t see that happening.”

Ms Ali told the Standard: “I’ve had Labour supporters saying to me ‘if you stand then we might lose’ but I think ‘sort yourself out, sort out your policies’.

“A lot of Labour members and supporters have told me I am dividing the vote.

“But so many people are complaining about Labour not having a strong leader. You only have to look at the way the manifesto was leaked. Someone is briefing against him.

“It is members of their party that have the audacity to say to me that I am splitting the vote, a split party that I once believed in having petty fights.”

Ms Ali said that she wants to make it clear that she has not chosen to stand against a woman but has chosen to stand against the mainstream parties which she believes are “failing to address women’s equality issues”.

Ms West took the north London seat from former Lib Dem MP Lynne Featherstone in 2015 securing a majority of 11,058 over her rival. Dawn Barnes, the Lib Dem candidate this June, is expected to mount a strong challenge.

Labour’s Catherine West is campaigning to be re-elected in Hornsey and Wood Green (Lucy Young)

Ms West told the Standard: “I think the important thing is that people have a choice and that they [the candidates] should be able to stand wherever they want.”

She pointed out that it was unlikely Ms Ali would attract Labour voters in the constituency given that she voted for Tory politician Zac Goldsmith for London Mayor.

Ms Ali has been accused of being close to the Conservatives. One of her four brothers Mohamed is chair of the Somali Conservatives and she was offered the chance to stand in a “safe seat” for the party.

But Ms Ali has insisted she is not a Conservative and could not stand for the party because of policies like the child benefit cap.

Ms Ali said she plans to fight the campaign by focusing heavily on issues including knife crime and making sure there is support for women in the constituency.

She said: “I want to focus on issues such as knife crime and gangs that are being neglected by the mainstream parties. There are many mothers that feel like they have been left behind. Many people have lost their lives to knife crime in the last couple of weeks. That is completely unacceptable.

“We want to help the mothers who could be at the forefront of preventing this violence to engage with the police and so on.”

The Women’s Equality Party manifesto includes policies such as 40 hours of free childcare per week from the end of parental leave until a child reaches school age.

The feminist party has seven candidates standing in the June 8 election include party leader Sophie Walker, who will stand in Shipley against Conservative Philip Davies.

Crime

Southall shooting: Man charged with murder of Khalid Abdi Farah

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Detectives investigating the shooting of 26-year-old Khalid Farah in Southall have charged a 21-year-old man.

Malique Thompson-Hill was charged with murder on Sunday (December 3), the Metropolitan Police said in a statement.

Mr Farah was fatally shot in the chest while he was sat in a Ford Focus car in Lady Margaret Road on November 11.

London Ambulance Service attended the scene and the victim was taken to a central London hospital where he died at 3.32am.

Following his death, Crimestoppers announced a reward of up to £10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.

In a statement, his family said: “Khalid was such an amazing son, brother and nephew.

“We can’t stress enough how distraught we are that our beautiful boy was taken away from us.”

The family statement added: “He was a kind and lovable soul who made an impression with everyone he would meet.”

Mr Thompson-Hill was due to appear at Ealing Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

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UK

Murdered Suhaib Mohammed ‘collateral damage’ to drug dealers

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Suhaib Mohammed died two hours after being shot in the chest

A teenager who was murdered in the UK after moving from Somalia was “just collateral damage” to a drug dealing gang, a senior police officer says.
Suhaib Mohammed, 19, was shot through an open window at a house in Milton Keynes, in September 2016.

Two men were jailed for life in March after being convicted of his murder.

Speaking ahead of a TV documentary about the case, Det Ch Insp Mike Lynch said Mr Mohammed had been “groomed into a life he knew nothing about.”

“This was the tragic case of a 19-year-old brought from Somalia to the UK by his family to make a better life for themselves but, ultimately, he was vulnerable,” he said.

“He was was just collateral damage in the world of organised crime and became wrapped up in something he had no control over.”

A teenager who was murdered in the UK after moving from Somalia was “just collateral damage” to a drug dealing gang, a senior police officer says.
Suhaib Mohammed, 19, was shot through an open window at a house in Milton Keynes, in September 2016.

Two men were jailed for life in March after being convicted of his murder.

Speaking ahead of a TV documentary about the case, Det Ch Insp Mike Lynch said Mr Mohammed had been “groomed into a life he knew nothing about.”

“This was the tragic case of a 19-year-old brought from Somalia to the UK by his family to make a better life for themselves but, ultimately, he was vulnerable,” he said.

“He was was just collateral damage in the world of organised crime and became wrapped up in something he had no control over.”

Mohammed Noor (left) and Albert Prempeh should serve a minimum of 30 years, the judge said

Mohamed Noor, 33, and Albert Prempeh, 35, both of Milton Keynes, were sentenced to a minimum of 30 years, following a trial at Luton Crown Court.

Noor, of Radworthy, fired the revolver after Prempeh, from Langland Road, had led him to the house in Osprey Close, Eagleston.

The court heard the pair went to the address to exact revenge on a man known as Hypes, who had robbed Noor earlier and believed to have been involved in a £4,000 bookmaker robbery the previous day.

Prempeh said he had been forced at gunpoint by Noor to go to the house, an accusation Noor denied.

Mr Lynch said: “That was the difficulty of the case – it seemed straightforward.

“But we looked at CCTV and found footage of Prempeh leading Noor to the scene and certainly not under duress”.

The case has been featured in Channel 4 documentary Catching a Killer, to be shown on Thursday, 7 December.
Mr Lynch – who has since retired from policing – said he took part in the programme to show how “emotionally challenging” cases like this are for police staff.

“They have to support families who have lost someone but they have to be impartial and seek the truth, which sometimes causes tension,” he said.

“And there is always a sense of a hollow victory in that no sentence can ever bring someone back”.

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Crime

Father beaten to death with chair as fight breaks out over snooker table in north London cafe

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A father was beaten to death with a chair when a fight broke out over the snooker table in a high street cafe.

Police launched a murder inquiry after Mohamed Hersi, 40, died in hospital following the attack in Bethel Cafe, Finsbury Park.

Mr Hersi, who recently left his job at a central London hotel to care for his elderly father, was set upon when he complained about players jumping the queue for the table.

He was rushed to hospital with critical injuries at 10pm on Tuesday. He died yesterday with his wife and their four children, aged five to 11, at his bedside.

His wife Barlin Ali, 36, told the Standard: “He was the best husband and father you could ask for.”
It is understood that Mr Hersi, who had been working as a hotel kitchen porter, was drinking tea and playing snooker in the cafe when the row broke out.

He was struck with the metal chair, fell to the floor and hit his head, his family said.

Mrs Ali said: “It is vitally important that anyone who saw what happened comes forward because the person who did this should not be on the streets.

“No other family should suffer this. Please come forward if you know anything and speak to police. We want justice for Mohamed because I have lost such a loving man.”

Mr Hersi’s sister-in-law Mariam Ali, 37, said: “Mohamed was a peaceful man. He would always say to us to not worry and ‘enjoy the moment’.
“Those were his favourite words. He was a lovely person and a good father. He was so happy around his children.”

“He was working at a grand hotel in central London until a few months ago when he had to stop work to look after his father.

“We just know he was drinking tea in the cafe on Tuesday night. We got a phone call saying Mohamed was on the floor. My sister ran to the cafe but the police were already there and took us to hospital. Doctors said he would not survive.”

The cafe in Seven Sisters Road was cordoned off. A worker at a nearby internet cafe said: “He was playing snooker. There’s only a small table there, it was full of people. A guy came in and was trying to jump the queue. Then there was an argument.”

The Met’s Homicide and Major Crime Command is investigating. No arrests have been made. Anyone with information is asked to call the incident room on 020 8345 3865 or via 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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