Leader of Burnley Council Afrasiab Anwar and nine fellow councillors resign from Labour Party over Sir Keir Starmer's decision not to push for ceasefire in Gaza.
and live on Freeview channel 276
Coun. Afrasiab Anwar, who has been in the party for 10 years, said it had been a "really difficult decision" to leave the Labour Party.
He was among those calling for the leader of the Labour Party to resign last week. Labour has backed the UK government's stance of calling for a pause in the fighting to allow humanitarian aid and medical treatments to reach Palestinians in Gaza.
The 10 councillors described their memberships as "untenable" given the leadership's refusal to demand a ceasefire in the Middle East.
In a statement, they said Sir Keir had indicated he "does not value the voice of the grassroots of the party" - citing remarks the Opposition leader made following a speech on Friday in the North East.
The statement also said: “Since the onset of the violence in Gaza/Israel, we, as a collective, have consistently used our roles as councillors to advocate on behalf of our communities to bring peace by urging the leadership to call for a release of all hostages and an immediate ceasefire.
“Every life holds equal value and we strongly condemn the loss of any innocent life without reservation. Every life holds equal value and indiscriminate bombing and collective punishment of innocent civilians is a clear violation of International Law. We have tirelessly worked to convey this message to various levels of the Labour Party.
“We cannot remain in a party that is not doing enough whilst innocent people are being killed in Gaza and Israel. We will continue to represent our communities as Independent councillors on our respective councils and use our voice to challenge injustices across the world.”
Labour have backed the UK government's stance of calling for a pause in the fighting to allow humanitarian aid and medical treatments to reach Palestinians in Gaza. But Labour councillors have again criticised this move claiming that it is not enough.
The other councillors who have resigned along with Coun. Anwar are: Ishtiaq Mohammed, Shah Hussain, Asif Raja, Serish Lone, Misbah Kazmi, Arif Khan, Lubna Khan, Saeed Chaudhary and Nusrat Kazmi.
The resignations mean that Burnley Council is now made up of 12 each of Labour and Independent councillors, seven councillors each for the Green Party, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats.