Shadow minister quits over Labour's stance on Israel ceasefire

Labour shadow minister quits in protest over Sir Keir Starmer’s refusal to call for a ceasefire in Israel-Hamas war saying he is ‘deeply troubled’ by party’s stance

  • READ MORE: Poll shows just a quarter of Labour voters back Starmer over Gaza

A Labour shadow minister has quit in protest over Sir Keir Starmer’s position on the Israel-Hamas war.

Imran Hussain’s decision to leave his post will be a fresh blow for the Labour leader who has followed the government in refusing to call for a ceasefire in the bloody conflict.

Sir Keir has said that while he ‘understands’ calls for a ceasefire, it would only serve to ’embolden’ Hamas to repeat their October 7 attack on Israel, which saw over 1,400 people massacred.

Anger has risen among the Labour ranks, with 18 shadow ministers defying the official Labour position and calling for a ceasefire. 

It is the first frontbench resignation over the issue. Dozens of Labour councillors have resigned over the row.

Imran Hussain’s decision to leave his post will be a fresh blow for the Labour leader

The MP for Bradford East said in his resignation letter that he was ‘deeply troubled’ by Labour’s stance.

‘I believe the party needs to go further and call for a ceasefire.

‘As I write, more than 1,400 Israeli and over 10,000 Palestinian civilians have been killed in the last month,’ he wrote.

‘This shocking number of fatalities is set to grow as indiscriminate attacks and the siege of Gaza continues.’

He said sharing his statement on X: ‘I want to be able to strongly advocate for a ceasefire, as called for by the UN General Secretary. In order to be fully free to do so, I have tonight stepped down from Labour’s Frontbench.’

Last week, the leader of Burnley Council quit alongside 10 other colleagues after Sir Keir dismissed demands to call for a ceasefire in Gaza.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has faced criticism over his stance on a ceasefire in Gaza for weeks

The Labour leadership has stuck to the line taken by the government and US, that there should be ‘humanitarian pauses’ to let aid and medical treatments reach Palestinians.

Grilled after a speech on Friday, Sir Keir argued that Israel had a right to defend itself after the horrific terror attacks of October 7 – and insisted that Labour was united. 

Recent YouGov research has found that barely a quarter of those who intend to support the party at a general election back his handling of the crisis.

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