“It is clear that Starmer is wholly out of touch with his own party, as well as the British public, in his opposition to a ceasefire.”Kate Dove, Momentum
By Matt Willgress
Labour leader Keir Starmer is set to refuse to call for a ceasefire in Israel-Gaza today, as has been called for by the UN internationally, the TUC here and many others, and his stance is becoming increasingly isolated both within his own Party and international opinion.
A recent poll showed that the majority of British voters back an immediate ceasefire, including 89% of Labour voters. Only 3% of Labour voters are opposed to a ceasefire.
In this context, in recent days more Mayors, Labour MPs and even shadow ministers have broken with the leadership’s position and backed an immediate ceasefire.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan, Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham. and Scottish Labour Leader Anas Sarwar, have all backed a ceasefire.
And in total, thirteen shadow ministers have now publicly backed a ceasefire, namely Yasmin Qureshi, Imran Hussain, Mary Foy, Jess Phillips, Naz Shah, Kim Leadbeater, Andy Slaughter, Afzal Khan, Rushanara Ali, Rachel Hopkins, Sarah Owen, Paula Barker and Florence Eshalomi. In doing so, Naz Shah, for example, criticised Israel’s “disproportionate attacks on a civilian population.”
Those speaking up include Broxtowe Labour Group of Councillors said “We are disappointed by the leader of the Labour Party’s failure to clearly reject Israel’s collective punishment of civilians in Gaza.” Additionally, over 300 individual Labour councillors have backed the significant Labour Muslim Network open letter.
Additionally, an Early Day Motion (EDM) launched by Richard Burgon was signed by 100 MPs from across the Commons, with over 50 Labour MPs backing a ceasefire.
As Kate Dove, Momentum Co-Chair, commented, “It is clear that Starmer is wholly out of touch with his own party, as well as the British public, in his opposition to a ceasefire and support for more Israeli bombing of the Gaza strip,” and as Labour & Palestine has said, instead, “The Labour Party must now lead demands for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire and the full application of international law to apply equally to all peoples.”
- Read Labour & Palestine‘s statement Labour Must Lead Demands for An Immediate Ceasefire here.
- Reporting with thanks to Momentum’s Press Release.