Labour's support for the Gaza genocide has backfired badly

Labour’s support for the Gaza genocide has backfired badly

Labour’s support for the Gaza genocide has backfired badly, turning 16 constituencies with more Muslim voters into “battlegrounds”.

The list includes constituencies held by shadow cabinet members with large majorities – many of whom are now threatened by Independent candidates who are highlighting the party’s failure to stand up for the innocent victims of Israel’s massacre in Gaza:

  • Bethnal Green and Stepney (Rushanara Ali opposed by Independents Ajmal Masroor and Sham Uddin and others)
  • Birmingham Hodge Hill and Solihull North (Liam Byrne opposed by Workers Party (James Giles), Green Party (Imran Khan) and others)
  • Birmingham Ladywood (Shabana Mahmood defending against Independent Akhmed Yakoob and others).
  • Birmingham Perry Barr (Khalid Mahmood defending against Green Party’s Kefentse Dennis – others yet to be announced)
  • Birmingham Yardley (Jess Phillips defending against Workers Party’s Jody McIntyre, Green Party’s Roxanne Green and others)
  • Blackburn (Kate Hollern defending against Workers Party’s Craig Murray, Independent Tiger Patel and others)
  • Bolton South and Walkden (Yasmin Qureshi opposed by Workers Party’s Jack Khan, Green Party’s Philip Kochitty and others)
  • Bradford East (Imran Hussain defending against Green Party’s Celia Hickson, others to be announced)
  • Bradford South (Judith Cummins defending against Workers Party’s Harry Boota, Green Party’s Matt Edwards, others to be announced)
  • Bradford West (Naz Shah defending against Independent Muhammed Ali Islam, Green Party’s Khalid Mahmood and others)
  • Huddersfield (Harpreet Uppal opposed by the Green Party’s Andrew Cooper, and others)
  • Leicester South (Jonathan Ashworth defending against Independent Shockat Adam, Green Party’s Sharmen Rahman and others)
  • Luton North (Sarah Owen defending against the Workers Party’s Waheed Akhbar, Green Party’s Ejel Khan and others)
  • Luton South and South Bedfordshire
  • Oldham West, Chadderton and Royton (Jim McMahon opposed by the Green Party’s Samsuzzaman Syed Independent Raja Miah and others), and
  • Slough (Tanmanjeet Singh Desi defending against Independent Azhar Chohan, the Workers Party’s Adnan Shabbir, the Green Party’s Julian Edmonds and others).

It is also possible that there are other Labour-held seats with average or below-average Muslim populations where the party is also directing locals to campaign near them.

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The backlash is believed to have been caused by a shocking interview on LBC, in which party leader Keir Starmer supported Israel’s intention to commit war crimes in Gaza by inflicting collective punishment for the crimes of Hamas on the innocent citizens of that part of Palestine.

He justified this by saying Israel had a “right to defend itself” – a legal nonsense that he, as a lawyer, should have recognised because Israel is an occupying power in Gaza and has a duty to safeguard the lives and livelihoods of the people living there.

This massive, unforced own-goal was discovered by the usually-uncritical LabourList blog site, which tells us

Labour has a website where campaigners can enter a postcode to find their nearest “battleground” constituency, with many activists directed to Tory-held seats where Labour has the best chances of making gains.

But LabourList uncovered 16 constituencies currently held by Labour with large Muslim populations where the tool informed local volunteers this week: “We need your help to hold this seat for Labour.”

LabourList entered the 20 constituencies with the highest percentage of voters identifying themselves as Muslim in England and Wales into the tool to see where local activists were being directed.

Of the 20 areas with the most Muslim voters, 13 Labour-held seats were listed as “battlegrounds”. Another, Rochdale, was a previously Labour seat won by George Galloway in the recent by-election amid a backlash over the party’s stance over Gaza.

We also uncovered three further seats with above-average Muslim populations that were marked as “battleground areas”.

LabourList said the suggestion that Labour needs “help holding” seats with vast majorities is likely to be read as a sign of how worried the party is about the fallout from the row over its Gaza stance.

The site quoted Mish Rahman, a left-wing member of the party’s ruling National Executive Committee, who warned:

“For far too long, Labour has taken some of these communities for granted and continues to do so as we have seen from the party’s behaviour towards Diane Abbott and Faiza Shaheen.

“Whenever a candidate is interviewed by the NEC for due diligence, they are asked to explain how any of their actions will be judged by the electorate, but the irony is that Keir Starmer’s actions following his awful LBC interview have done unprecedented damage to Labour’s chances in some of its safest seats in the country.

“Labour has lost hundreds of councillors and a number of councils because of those actions, and now risk some of our safest seats. It’s tragic that this was completely avoidable and is totally self-inflicted.”

Mr Rahman’s career on the NEC seems unlikely to last much longer, in This Writer’s opinion!

His comment highlights the hypocrisy at the heart of the Labour Party, in which Starmer can sabotage his own party to his heart’s content, while others acting with genuinely good intentions are targeted and removed on the basis of the flimsiest of excuses.

Labour and Starmer deserve to lose these constituencies.


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One Comment

  1. Tony June 5, 2024 at 11:30 am - Reply

    “Labour and Starmer deserve to lose these constituencies.”

    Absolutely. And we can make it happen by donating time or money to suitable challenger candidates.
    So I would urge all visitors to this website to do so.

    Thank you

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