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Local Labour party in Wales calls on Starmer to quit over his Gaza stance

18 Nov 2023 5 minute read
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer.Photo Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Martin Shipton

A Welsh Constituency Labour Party has become the first in Britain to call for the resignation of Sir Keir Starmer because of his stance on the war in Gaza.

Released late on Friday November 17, a statement from the outgoing executive committee of Ceredigion CLP said: “We call on Sir Keir Starmer to resign forthwith as leader of the Labour Party for the following reasons:

“1 He refuses to support a ceasefire in the ongoing aggression by the Israeli military against Gaza, contrary to overwhelming opinion within the membership of the Labour Party and the majority of the British people.

“2 He continues to express support for the genocidal apartheid regime in power in Israel, contrary to the overwhelming opinion within the membership of the Labour Party and the spirit of recent conference decisions.

“3 He abjectly supports all actions by the US Government and UK Tory government in relation to the Middle East, failing to oppose massive amounts of arms sales and other financial support to Israel.

“4 By his recent pronouncements he is increasingly bringing the Labour Party into disrepute and jeopardising the electoral prospects of Labour candidates in elections.”

As a result of boundary changes brought about by the reduction in the number of Welsh MPs from 40 to 32, Ceredigion is expanding and will become Ceredigion Preseli.

There has been growing anger within Labour at Sir Keir’s refusal to back a ceasefire in Gaza, instead calling for “humanitarian pauses”.

Ceasefire

Earlier this week 56 Labour MPs including 10 frontbenchers defied the party whip and voted for an SNP amendment that called for a ceasefire. A significant number of Labour councillors have resigned from the party as a result of the leadership’s position, especially in cities and towns where there is a substantial Muslim population. In Burnley, for example, 11 of the 22 Labour councillors have quit the party and have seized control of the council from their former party after going into coalition with Liberal Democrat and Green councillors.

Last month the outgoing Ceredigion CLP executive committee issued a statement rebuking Sir Keir. It said: “We … unequivocally condemn all acts of violence affecting innocent civilians, whether committed by Hamas or the Israeli military. We believe that the inexcusable acts of terrorism recently perpetrated by Hamas represent a war crime under the Geneva Convention.

“We also unequivocally condemn as a war crime the collective punishment of a whole population of Palestinians in the Gaza strip by the Israeli regime, The current escalation of conflict must be seen in the context of 75 years of oppression and dispossession of the indigenous Palestinian people of the region and the steady evolution of Israel into a fully-fledged ‘apartheid’ state. Palestinian civilian casualties in the ongoing unequal ‘conflict’ in Israel / Palestine- since 2008 – have been over 20 times those of Israelis. We challenge the Labour leadership to reverse their current very public and uncritical support of the Israeli regime, to be more in line with recent decisions at the Labour Party Conference.

“At this tragic time, we would also like to express our solidarity with the large number of courageous Jewish friends and fellow socialists who have spoken out and campaigned on behalf of the Palestinian people both in the UK and Israel, including organisations like Jewish Voice for Labour, and utterly condemn any anti-Semitism wherever and whenever it occurs. In that context, we are dismayed that some in the Labour leadership and the wider Parliamentary Labour Party still continue to falsely label anti-Zionists and opponents of the Israeli regime as ‘anti-Semitic’. This ‘weaponising’ of ‘anti-Semitism’ against individual anti-racist members of the Labour Party has been a disgrace which must end and is contrary to the values and principles that we claim to uphold.

“Finally, while applauding the decision of the Welsh Government not to fly the Israeli flag over the Senedd, we reject in principle a recent circular letter from the Labour Party UK general secretary David Evans, implying disciplinary measures against members attending events held in support of the Palestnians, or even expressing the type of opinions in this statement. We believe that such ‘advice’ from a paid employee of the Labour membership risks bringing the party into disrepute and damaging its electoral prospects among democratically-minded members of the public.”

Hamas

Sir Keir has defended his position on the ceasefire. Speaking at a Chatham House event late last month, he said he did not back a ceasefire because Hamas did not want one and it would only “embolden” the group.

He said a ceasefire “always freezes any conflict in the state where it currently lies”, adding: “That would leave Hamas with the infrastructure and the capabilities to carry out the sort of attack we saw on October 7.

He said the “scale and brutality” of the attack was an “immutable fact that must drive our response to these events”.

He described a humanitarian pause as the “only credible approach”, which would see “the urgent alleviation of Palestinian suffering”.


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Richard 1
Richard 1
4 months ago

Yes Starmer should go. This would be a good time to set up an electoral coalition to get rid of FPTT to break the dominance of right-wing thinking (e.g. Starmer’s) and establish proportional representation.

Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
4 months ago
Reply to  Richard 1

SINGLE TRANSFERABLE VOTE

Dave Langston
4 months ago

So no ceasefire but a pause, but a pause has to be longer than the pause already offered but can’t be a ceasefire. This man makes no sense at all. That is unless you realise he’s only waiting for what the Zionists will accept as words in any statement he makes. No humanity, no integrity, false and corrupt to the bones. That’s Keir Starmer.

Annibendod
Annibendod
4 months ago

I agree with Ceredigion PLP. However, Ceredigion PLP would do better to disband and support Plaid Cymru instead.

adopted cardi
adopted cardi
4 months ago
Reply to  Annibendod

-together with all the other Labour supporters in Wales.
Labour is finished as a party of the people, it has been since it wrecked Jeremy Corbyns chances.
Israel as a country is a war machine, with no interest in human life. Just money.
As for Starmer – the clue’s in the first 3 letters of his “title”.
Well said, anyway.

Jeff
Jeff
4 months ago

Yeah, watch the Labour Party implode and hand the nation back to the Tories at the next GE. Way to go Labour. Another 5 years for a party that is wrecking the UK, they will finish the job and if Trump gets in, there will be absolutely no protections from him.

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
4 months ago
Reply to  Jeff

You’ve hit the nail on the head mate, exactly what I was thinking. However, I think it will take more than this for the Tories to get back in, as detested as they now are, but the Labour party is sure not helping itself regain power!

Jeff
Jeff
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve Duggan

The Cons will use everything they can, any vector that can to drive division. I am not sure any opposition parties are ready for the support the Cons will get from the usual suspects in the press. Musk X a big player in the stupid and hate, change leader now and the Cons call a GE in the confusion.

Annibendod
Annibendod
4 months ago
Reply to  Jeff

Looking coldly at the electoral calculus, if Labour suffer for Starmer’s stance, I wonder if it could start pushing the numbers back towards a hung parliament? That would be interesting.

Jeff
Jeff
4 months ago
Reply to  Annibendod

Labour will not be the only one suffering if that is the case, UK will have a massive problem that will rattle on for a generation at least. We risk putting back in power those that are doing what people are accusing labour of and have a bad rep in the UK for ruining the nation, the Tory Party. Rumours that the PM is now going to get in a pact with the Italian PM (far right) to mess with ECHR. Really, there is an existential threat to the UK from this Tory party but at the last hurdle, Labour… Read more »

Annibendod
Annibendod
4 months ago
Reply to  Jeff

My thinking is that a Labour Party depending on a sizeable Lib/SNP (pref PC also) vote to pass legislation would be forced into constitutional & electoral reform. I don’t think a huge Lab majority does us any favours either.

Katy
Katy
4 months ago
Reply to  Annibendod

And Greens. I’ve seen a lot of people commenting on social media that they will vote Green. I would like to see a progressive alliance.

Bethan
Bethan
4 months ago
Reply to  Jeff

The lesser of two evils then? That’s what they count on though you know? That’s how things have gotten progressively worse over the decades. I don’t know I think the public are a lot braver than they were for say the last two GEs. It’s a good time to cut out the rot in both parties. I don’t know what the alternative is. We talk as though it will be conservative or labour and the public will accept that. I fear that if the public don’t get the result they want their will be an uprising either way. People have… Read more »

Rob
Rob
4 months ago
Reply to  Bethan

I’m sympathise with your comment however if the Tories are planning to take us out of the European Convention on Human Rights and undo our devolution settlement then its far too dangerous for them to remain in power. And we need them to be annihilated. If someone like Suella Braverman became the next tory leader after the election then it might actually be a good thing, because they would condemning themselves to opposition for at least a decade. This might be an opportunity for the progressive wing of the Labour to force Starmer to implement a more progressive agenda. Look… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by Rob
Richard Davies
Richard Davies
4 months ago
Reply to  Rob

The Good Friday (Belfast) Agreement ties Northern Ireland & uk to the European Convention (& Court) of Human Rights. It underpins & guarantees power sharing as part of the agreement. It will destabilise Northern Ireland, so it simply won’t happen, no matter what the tories come out with.

Rob
Rob
4 months ago
Reply to  Richard Davies

Unlike Irish reunification happens, this appears to be more likely than Scottish independence.

Last edited 4 months ago by Rob
Katy
Katy
4 months ago
Reply to  Bethan

Hear, hear

Sarah Good
Sarah Good
4 months ago
Reply to  Jeff

Starmer is the problem not Labour

Jeff
Jeff
4 months ago
Reply to  Sarah Good

I am watching labour looking to implode and hand the tory party another win again. another 10 years propably. Any vigils outside Tory MP voting the way Starmer is wanting?

Sarah Good
Sarah Good
4 months ago
Reply to  Jeff

The Tory party is of no concern to me. They will always do the most evil thing and will be gone next year.
Your comment snacks a bit of “but all lives matter”

Jeff
Jeff
4 months ago
Reply to  Sarah Good

My comment is an accurate observation. Labour lost to a clown, granted brexit and press played a part but they lost to an actual clown, a liar and a cheat. Tory party are in power. they look to retain power if Labour blow it again. There are no alternatives. Should be a massive concern especially as the usual suspect far right press barons will be behind them. Until all the X’s are counted, 2019 should be a massive lesson from history for all concerned. If the Tory party are in-power when (if) Trump is re elected then the UK is… Read more »

Annibendod
Annibendod
4 months ago
Reply to  Sarah Good

If you believe that then I have a bridge to sell you.

Sarah Good
Sarah Good
4 months ago
Reply to  Annibendod

Like many of your arguments I suspect it is not well constructed. So no thank you.

Maesglas
Maesglas
4 months ago

Well done Ceredigion CLP. At last, some dare to say what an abject failure this man is. He is like a jellyfish – spineless and carried by the tides. He crushes any ideas from his party that will likely generate controversy – such as speaking out regarding the killing of innocent people in Gaza. Worse, his flip-flopping on almost everything that he campaigned for in his leadership election shows that it will be a similar pattern if he becomes PM. Starmer is offering more of the same as the Tories. Beware, voters, this is not going to end well. Westminster… Read more »

Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
4 months ago
Reply to  Maesglas

It is not only this issue, Is it ? Ceredigion CLP has no choice but to support and join Plaid Cymru to get our existing MP Ben Lake reelected to our new constituency of Ceredigion. We note that part of the new constituency in North Pembrokeshire currently has a Tory MP who will fight hard to keep it. Therefore standing a Labour candidate in this constituency will only divide the vote with FPTP and help the Tories. Also many Lib Dems voters will continue to vote tactically to support Plaid Cymru as in the last GE as the best option… Read more »

Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
4 months ago

For the long term, Welsh Labour need to break their domination from the centralised UK Labour Party.

It will never help Wales having a Labour Party (or any other Welsh party) being controlled from outside Wales.

James
James
4 months ago

Llafur need to break from the red Tories. No Red Tory member should be allowed to stand in Wales.

Steffan ap Huw
Steffan ap Huw
4 months ago
Reply to  James

Shouldn’t be allowed? I thought this was a democracy?

Rob
Rob
4 months ago

First things first!! Get the Tories out, then go after Starmer.

adopted cardi
adopted cardi
4 months ago
Reply to  Rob

then all vote Plaid, two, or even 3 birds with one stone.

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
4 months ago
Reply to  adopted cardi

I think at a national level (Cymru) we need to be dispassionate and strategic. The goal must be to oust the Tories from every seat. To do that we MUST vote tactically and support the most likely candidate to outst the Tory in each constituency. Than means almost ignoring the party labels. Anyway, as an aside, don’t give up on Labour. Bear in mind that the Party at large remains Socialist and humanitarian and if there is a Starmer led Government the London clique will not be able to ignore the members for long. Of course, making sure that there… Read more »

adopted cardi
adopted cardi
4 months ago
Reply to  Peter Cuthbert

well, I’d say Peter, the Neo Liberals under whatever banner they march – Labour, Tory, Liberals – have had 44 years to prove to us all that their system doesn’t work. They have had a good run, time to get rid. Wales though is/was a bit of an oasis in the wilderness. Be nice to build on that – we wont get rid of the other devils. So go with Plaid, maybe. Yes Cymru also. Let’s follow them. I am nearly 80, seen it all unfold over the years. Thatcher, Blair, Lib-Tory disaster, Teresa bloody may, and her arms dealing… Read more »

Annibendod
Annibendod
4 months ago
Reply to  Peter Cuthbert

Just vote Plaid. If you’re in Labour, cancel your membership and join Plaid. Most constructive thing anyone on the Left in Wales can do.

Linda Jones
Linda Jones
4 months ago

Agree Starmer should go but what about the Welsh Labour MP’s in Westminter? They abstained. Clearly only looking after their own careers, sod the Palestinians.

Sarah Good
Sarah Good
4 months ago

If Welsh Labour feel this way, and we know the Tory Starmer will refuse to quit, then they should separate from English Labour entirely and focus on serving Wales

Annibendod
Annibendod
4 months ago
Reply to  Sarah Good

Pointless having an independent Welsh Labour and Plaid Cymru fighting it out over the same votes – at that point the two should merge.

Sarah Good
Sarah Good
4 months ago
Reply to  Annibendod

I can see the differences between Labour and Plaid, beyond the independence issue. Can you not?

G Horton-Jones.
G Horton-Jones.
4 months ago

Israel’s final solution is to eliminate the Gaza strip and incorporate into a larger Israel the Palestinians are collateral damage
Starmer is England’s problem don’t make him ours in Wales

Dai Ponty
Dai Ponty
4 months ago

I cannot believe what i am bloody reading from some of the comments people are actually wanting Labour to implode and hope TORIES WIN THE NEXT ELECTION as far as Wales is concerned Labour for Wales is the lesser of the 2 evils Tories want to take back develoution i would call some of you QUESLINGS AND TRATORS TO THE WELSH NATION dont like what i have said tough

Annibendod
Annibendod
4 months ago
Reply to  Dai Ponty

There we are then.

Sarah Good
Sarah Good
4 months ago
Reply to  Dai Ponty

Oh what a lovely choice:-
Rectal cancer or breast cancer.

Sarah Good
Sarah Good
4 months ago
Reply to  Dai Ponty

Also, just to be clear anyone who does not want to vote for Starmer’s Labour is “QESLING AND A TRATOR TO THE WELSH NATION”? Or are we just people with a different opinion to you?
I don’t vote for apologists of genocide. It’s a red line I have. I don’t care which party they represent. I won’t be voting Tory. I won’t be voting Labour until they see sense and ditch Starmer. You’re just going to have to come to terms with the fact that not everyone cares about your personal agenda.

Dai Ponty
Dai Ponty
4 months ago

Some of call yourself Welsh patriots wanting starmer and Labour to lose the next election you are nothing but a bunch of cowards and have you no shame what the tories have done to Wales being a former miner i have as i said cowards us miners had fight in our bellies to fight for our jobs and communities Plaid are not ready to govern us and take us out of the disunited Kingdom so Labour should do for now

Annibendod
Annibendod
4 months ago
Reply to  Dai Ponty

Then join Plaid, vote for Plaid, exhort your friends and family to vote Plaid and help us dismantle the Tory State. That’s the patriotic and progressive thing to do. Not vote for red Tories who offer Wales Jack.

adopted cardi
adopted cardi
4 months ago
Reply to  Dai Ponty

Kinnnock and his chums wanted Labour under Corbyn to lose. They deliberately helped the tories get in last time Dai. Who’s the real traitors? I can’t see a fag papers worth of difference between Labour Tory and Liberal. They have all played a part to cause massive poverty for so many folk. They all love fighting wars – blowing little kids arms off and all that. War driven people, no good for us in the real world. We might just get somewhere in Wales with a new broom to sweep clean .- i’d say give Plaid a chance anyway. We’re… Read more »

Jeff
Jeff
4 months ago
Reply to  adopted cardi

Plaid can get its skates on when FPTP is gone and I will probably vote post FPTP, until then I vote with the party most likely to remove the local Con MP (that likes to crash late at night and run away). This next GE has one aim, get the Tory party out comprehensively and so comprehensively they are wrecked for at least a few terms.

But then it is your X to do with as you please.

Corbyn Lost because Corbyn/Labour. Brexit Boris and team saw the state of play, gauged it right 2019. He wasn’t gong to win.

adopted cardi
adopted cardi
4 months ago
Reply to  Jeff

Bottom line Jeff- i won’t vote for any party that includes politicians who support mass murder – and neither should you. Corbyn could have easily won if it hadn’t been for the liberals – like you, i hope not -? who villified him with the help of the Guardian, BBC, etc., etc. He’d built the biggest political party in Europe for god’s sake. I really like Mark Drakeford but he needs to see the wood for the trees, to make a stand and call for a cease fire. If no – then he supports the carnage – simple as that.… Read more »

Sarah Good
Sarah Good
4 months ago
Reply to  Dai Ponty

I don’t call myself a Welsh patriot. Patriots are simply folks who believe “my country right or wrong” because they don’t understand nuance. They hold onto historic grudges, get obsessed with flags and national anthems and blaming everything on people outside of the nation. It’s a simplistic, childish stance. As a “patriot”, you realise that Starmer is English, yes? Surely a “patriot” would baulk at being ruled by the oppressor. I do not lend my allegiance to people just because they were born within the same administrative region as me. Be careful about calling people “cowards” just because they don’t… Read more »

Rhddwen y Sais
Rhddwen y Sais
4 months ago

Labour had the dream team with Jezza, Diane, Emily and Mark but the electorate blew it through ignorance.

Katy
Katy
4 months ago
Reply to  Rhddwen y Sais

Emily?

Rob
Rob
4 months ago
Reply to  Rhddwen y Sais

Diane Abbott part of a dream team?

Last edited 4 months ago by Rob
max wallis
max wallis
4 months ago

Commentators are overlooking that Keir Starmer supports the zionist Israeli state.
Starmer won Labour’s leader after Labour zionists stitched up Jeremy Corbyn with anti-semitism. Al-Jezeera’s undercover reporter exposed the Israeli London Embassy working with Labour zionists. Once elected, Starmer immediately promised the zionists “I-stand-with-Israel” and launched his purge of the Party activists: if pro-Palestine, then fit them up as anti-semitic. .

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