Imran Hussain, a member of the Labour frontbench, has stepped down in support of a ceasefire in Gaza.

A member of the leading group of the Labour party has stepped down due to their disagreement with the party’s stance on the conflict between Israel and Hamas. They expressed their resignation with a sense of sadness.

Imran Hussain, Member of Parliament for Bradford East, announced that he could not continue in his role as shadow minister for levelling-up due to his desire to be a vocal supporter of a ceasefire.

“In a letter of resignation addressed to Labour leader Keir Starmer and posted on social media, Hussain stated that our views on the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza significantly diverge.”

A truce is necessary in order to stop the violence, allow necessary aid to enter Gaza and assist those who are most in need, and to aid in the safe release of the Israeli hostages.

He stated that he was honored to collaborate with Starmer and his deputy, Angela Rayner, in creating a strategy for labor rights. However, he could not, in good faith, advocate for an end to hostilities while still being a part of the frontbench.

After the Guardian’s article about the initial 20 council members intending to leave the party due to Starmer’s statements on LBC and the party’s stance, numerous frontbenchers representing districts with significant Muslim populations were monitored for potential resignations. These districts encompassed Birmingham, Bradford, Manchester, and Leeds.

Even though Starmer attempted to explain his statements from an LBC interview where he stated that Israel has the authority to restrict electricity and water access to Gaza, Hussain expressed being greatly concerned by the party leader’s words.

“I have strongly denounced the actions of Hamas on October 7th and I firmly believe that every nation has the right to protect itself. However, this should never be used as an excuse to knowingly break international laws regarding the safety of civilians or to commit acts of war.”

Hussain’s ultimate goal is for the party to take a stronger stance and formally request a ceasefire. He is supported by 15 other members of the Labour frontbench who have either advocated for a ceasefire or expressed support for others’ calls for one on social media, such as Yasmin Qureshi and Jess Phillips.

Bridget Phillipson, the shadow education secretary, was asked if Labour MPs were advised not to participate in pro-Palestine marches this weekend. She stated that they were cautioned to be cautious about joining alongside individuals who may use inappropriate language or display offensive banners. There have been some unfortunate incidents at previous marches, and while she understands that it is not the intention of the majority of demonstrators, it is important to be mindful of these potential issues.

When asked about Hussain’s stance on whether Israel violated international law, Phillipson stated that all Labour MPs must proceed with caution and that “Imran has come to his own conclusion.”

On Friday, Starmer attempted to present the party as in agreement with its stance on the conflict between Israel and Hamas. He emphasized that the party’s calls for a ceasefire and humanitarian breaks were aligned.

Hussain’s departure is causing challenges for Starmer’s leadership. Several high-ranking Labour members do not believe that his recent remarks on the Middle East crisis were sufficient in keeping the party united, considering the strong emotions within the party’s base.

The leader of the Labour party has stated that a ceasefire would maintain the current situation and that Hamas’s killing of 1,400 individuals on October 7 and their stated plan to continue attacking makes this unfeasible.

Starmer is in agreement with the White House’s stance on implementing humanitarian breaks to facilitate the delivery of aid to Gaza. The Labour party supports the idea of a two-state resolution for both Israel and Palestine.

Prominent members of the Labour party, such as Sadiq Khan (the mayor of London), Anas Sarwar (Scottish Labour leader), and Andy Burnham (the mayor of Greater Manchester), have all voiced opposition to Starmer’s position.

The leader of Burnley’s Labour party on the borough council stepped down, along with 10 other councillors, in opposition to Starmer’s decision not to demand a ceasefire. Additionally, over 330 Labour councillors have signed a letter urging Starmer to support a ceasefire.

The Labour party’s leaders are attempting to strengthen their stance on Israel. Shadow foreign secretary David Lammy, who recently visited the area, expressed shock at the high number of Palestinian civilians and children killed. He urged Israel to take immediate action to prevent a humanitarian crisis, such as halting the ongoing fighting.

Lammy stated that Israel is obligated to adhere to international law and cautioned about potential acts of aggression in the West Bank.


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