Some members of the Labour party are upset with Keir Starmer for allegedly misrepresenting a meeting with Muslim leaders in Wales, particularly regarding his comments on the Israel-Hamas conflict.
On Sunday, the leader of the Labour party paid a visit to the South Wales Islamic Centre in Cardiff. In a statement released on Tuesday evening, the centre expressed regret for any hurt or confusion caused by Starmer’s visit and clarified that their intention was to bring attention to the plight of those in Palestine.
The organization also conveyed disappointment regarding Starmer’s social media statement regarding the visit, in which he stated, “I am grateful to have heard from the Muslim community at the South Wales Islamic Centre. I reiterated our demands for the release of all hostages, increased humanitarian aid to enter Gaza, restoration of water and power services, and a renewed emphasis on a two-state resolution.”
The South Wales Islamic Centre stated that Keir Starmer’s post on social media and accompanying images misinterpreted their members and the purpose of the visit.
“We strongly assert the importance of a liberated Palestine. We urge all individuals in positions of political power to abide by international laws and put an end to the occupation of Palestine.”
The addition stated: “There was a strong and honest discussion that expressed the feelings of Muslim communities during this time. Community members directly questioned Keir about his statements regarding the Israeli government’s actions of cutting off food, electricity, and water to Gaza, which may constitute war crimes, and his failure to demand an immediate ceasefire.”
This comes after the leader of the Labour party was compelled to clarify statements he made regarding Israel’s choice to restrict resources to Gaza.
During an interview on LBC Radio, Starmer was questioned about Israel’s response to Hamas attacks, specifically the decision to impose a blockade on Gaza and restrict access to basic resources like water and electricity. Starmer acknowledged that Israel has the right to defend itself, but also emphasized the importance of acting in accordance with international law.
The Member of Parliament representing Holborn and St Pancras later clarified his previous statements, stating that he was discussing Israel’s right to self-defense rather than cutting off basic necessities such as power and water. He also expressed his belief that Israel should abide by international law in their response. In a post on X about his visit, Starmer shared that he had been questioned by members of the community and was deeply moved by their pain and distress over the suffering of civilians in Gaza. He reiterated that it has never been his view that Israel had the right to deny access to essential resources such as water, food, fuel, and medicine, emphasizing the importance of following international law.
Eight members of the Labour party in Oxford have resigned from their positions as councillors due to the initial statements made by Starmer. As a result, the party no longer holds a majority in the city council.
15 members of the Labour party in Scotland stepped down from their positions as officers due to disagreements with the party’s policies regarding the conflict in Gaza. This included nine officers in a Glasgow division, including a member of the Labour House of Lords, and six officers in Edinburgh.
The Labour party was reached out to for a statement.