Labour’s civil war over Starmer’s Gaza siege comment is going from bad to worse. Now 150 Muslim Labour councillors have signed a public letter to the leadership demanding “an immediate ceasefire in Gaza“, with more names supposedly set to follow over the course of the day. Just a day after Starmer was accused of making an Imam “cry”…
At least 19 councillors have already quit in protest, with over 30 Labour MPs also calling for a ceasefire (while rockets still rain down on Israel). Starmer is set for crisis talks with his backbenches after PMQs this afternoon. Tensions are through the roof…
Read the full letter below:
Dear Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner,
We the undersigned write to you as Muslim Labour Party councillors, formally calling on the Labour Party to call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and an end to the humanitarian disaster.
5,791 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli strikes on Gaza since 7th October. Of those killed 2,360 of them have been children. It has also been reported that 704 Palestinians had been killed in the previous 24 hours alone. This is in addition to 1400 Israeli’s who lost their lives in the shocking terror attacks of October 7th.
Everyday we fail to call on the government and the international community to push for cessation of hostilities, Gazan children and hundreds of innocent men and women pay the price. As a party that bases it’s principles on fairness and justice, we can not sit idly by as Palestinian’s face collective punishment.
This week five UN agencies, including The World Food Programme (WFP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have called for a humanitarian ceasefire as they described the conditions in Gaza as “catastrophic”. Leaders across all faiths, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, have also called for a ceasefire and polling shows the vast majority of Britons and Labour voters support this position (YouGov poll: 76% of the British public support a ceasefire).
The humanitarian aid that has passed through into Gaza through the Rafah crossing is a ‘drop in the ocean’ compared to the humanitarian crisis at large in the region. Without an immediate ceasefire, UN agencies, NGO’s and charities have made it clear that much needed aid will not reach pregnant women, children, critically ill patients and those others that will simply be left to die.
Gaza is home to 2.2 million people, over half of whom are children. Before this crisis began, over 80% of the population relied on aid, now this crisis has turned to catastrophe. The innocent civilians in Gaza have had nothing to do with this crisis and bear no responsibility to its outcome.
As Labour councillors elected to serve our constituents, the message we have been hearing repeatedly over the past 2 weeks is simple, people just want an end to the bloodshed and the loss of innocent life. No nation, no people or community should have to endure collective punishment and the same should be the case for the Palestinian people. We are also clear that hostages held captive must also be returned to their families safely.