News   /   Palestine   /   Society   /   Editor's Choice

UK Labour Party loses Muslim support over Gaza stance ahead of elections

Campaigners calling for an end to the war in Gaza hold their daily demonstration in the town center of Keighley, northwest England, on June 14, 2024. (Photo by AFP)

The United Kingdom’s Labour Party has seen a sharp decrease in support from Muslims, primarily because of party leader Keir Starmer’s pro-Israel stance during the ongoing war on Gaza.

For more than 250 days, angry UK Muslims have been calling on the Labour Party to exert pressure on Tel Aviv to end its ongoing genocidal war on the defenseless Palestinian people, mostly innocent children and women, trapped under fire in the besieged Gaza Strip since October 7. 

Elections experts now believe the issue could swing UK general election races in northern England as many local Muslims are frustrated with Labour’s empathy towards the Palestinians' plight.

They say Starmer’s refusal to back an unconditional ceasefire in Gaza has caused a split with the traditional UK Muslims in upcoming elections scheduled for July 4.

The bond between UK Muslim communities and Labour was forged in the 1950s and 1960s with the mass migration of workers from Pakistan to the United Kingdom.

In the previous election in 2019, about four in five UK Muslims had supported the Labour Party. However, recent polling suggests some voters plan to ditch Labour over the UK government's continued backing of Israelis in the  Gaza genocide.

“In some towns across the north of England, the mosques are saying, ‘Don’t vote for either of the main parties’,” Labour candidate John Grogan told the AFP news agency at his office in Keighley town in Yorkshire.

Solicitor Shaid Iqbal, a leading figure in the Keighley’s Muslim community, said people were “very, very angry.”

“They’re angry at both parties. But the fact is, Labour more, because they thought that Labour was a party which would stick up for human rights, speak up against atrocities,” he told AFP. “They’ve let the public down.”

Gaza’s schools, hospitals, residences, and houses of worship came under Israeli regime forces merciless attacks after Palestinian resistance movements launched a surprise operation codenamed Operation al-Aqsa Storm against the occupying regime in October 2023.

At least 37,296 Palestinians have been killed, most of them women and children, and another 85,197 individuals have sustained injuries. More than 1.7 million people have been internally displaced during the war as well.

More than eight months since the start of Israel’s military assault on Gaza, dire conditions in the besieged territory are being exacerbated by Israel’s total siege on Gaza and the denial of sufficient aid. The Israeli military has blocked aid convoys, killed more than 200 aid workers, and shot starving civilians trying to access food.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku