Only a third of Labour councillors support the leadership’s position on Israel-Hamas conflict, poll shows

Just 37% of Labour councillors say they feel “satisfied” with the party’s handling of the Israel-Hamas conflict, according to a new poll.

The data – commissioned by the market research agency Savanta – also shows 43% of Labour councillors are “dissatisfied” with the Labour Party on the issue.

This polling comes as many of the party’s councillors have resigned over Keir Starmer and senior Labour frontbenchers’ view on the conflict, including one in Greater Manchester.

Amna Abdullatif, the councillor for Ardwick, Central Manchester, resigned over Labour’s “silencing” of its members on the conflict.

In an interview with Times Radio, she said: “Unfortunately the comments by the Labour leadership, the silencing within the party, the fear within the party to actually speak and find a resolution to this issue without being accused of various things, is really troubling and problematic.

“I stand by my position. I’m very at peace with the position I have taken to resign from the party.

“I sincerely hope that we come to a position where we see the UK taking an active role in peace-making in the region rather than warmongering.”

Abdullatif now sits as an independent councillor in Ardwick.

Further polling from Savanta also shows 43% of Labour councillors feel more negatively towards the party because of Starmer’s handling of the party’s response to the conflict.

Just 15% view Labour in a more positive light because of Starmer’s position, whilst 41% say it has made no difference.

It is clear Labour divisions have deepened as a consequence of the leadership’s handling of the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Starmer outlined the Labour Party’s position in a recent speech at Chatham House. He declared that he understands the calls for a ceasefire, but that he does not think it is the correct position.

He said: “A ceasefire always freezes any conflict in the state where it currently lies. And as we speak, that would leave Hamas with the infrastructure and the capability to carry out the sort of attack we saw on October 7.

“Hamas would be emboldened and start preparing for future violence immediately.

“Our current calls for pauses in the fighting, for clear and specific humanitarian purposes, and which must start immediately, is right in practice as well as principle.

“In fact it is at this moment the only credible approach that has any chance of achieving what we all want to see in Gaza: the urgent alleviation of Palestinian suffering, aid distributed quickly, space to get hostages out.”

Feature image: Keir Starmer via Flickr

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