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Starmer ‘gravely misrepresented meeting with Welsh Muslim community’of

25 Oct 2023 3 minute read
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer. Photo  Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Sir Keir Starmer has been accused of having “gravely misrepresented” a meeting with Muslim leaders in south Wales over the weekend, amid anger among some in Labour over the party leader’s position on the Israel-Hamas conflict.

In a statement published late on Tuesday by the South Wales Islamic Centre, it apologised for the “hurt and confusion” caused by hosting Sir Keir.

The Labour leader visited the centre on Sunday, posting images showing him meeting figures from the local community.

In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, he said: “I was grateful to hear from the Muslim community of the South Wales Islamic Centre.

“I repeated our calls for all hostages to be released, more humanitarian aid to enter Gaza, for the water and power to be switched back on, and a renewed focus on the two state solution.”


He said he was “questioned by members” and “made clear it is not and has never been my view that Israel had the right to cut off water, food, fuel or medicines. International law must be followed”.

Sir Keir has faced a backlash from Muslim and left-wing members over previous comments on Israel, after he appeared to suggest in an LBC interview that “Israel does have that right” to cut off power and water.

The Labour leader has since denied he ever backed Israel withholding humanitarian aid from Gaza and has sought to clarify his remarks about the Israeli-imposed siege of Gaza, which has sparked concerns about a humanitarian crisis in the region.

The centre’s statement said: “We wish to stress Keir Starmer’s social media post and images gravely misrepresented our congregants and the nature of the visit.

“We affirm, unequivocally, the need for a free Palestine. We implore all those with political authority to uphold international law, and to end the occupation of Palestine.”

The centre said it wanted to “apologise for the hurt and confusion that our hosting of this visit has caused”.

It added: “Our intention was to raise the concerns of the Muslim community around the suffering if Palestinians, and so we hosted an event initially with local representatives on the issue, and the knowledge of Keir Starmer’s attendance was given at short notice.

“There was a robust and frank conversation which reflected the sentiments Muslim communities are feeling at this time. Members of the community directly challenged Keir on his statements made on the Israeli Government’s right to cut food, electricity and water to Gaza, warranting war crimes as well as his failure to call for an immediate ceasefire.”

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7 months ago

“Sir Keir has faced a backlash from Muslim and left-wing members over previous comments on Israel, after he appeared to suggest in an LBC interview that “Israel does have that right” to cut off power and water.” is a paragraph that indicates how corrupt, immoral and repugnant even the so-called centre-ground of politics has become. It’s only Muslims and people on the left that oppose the disgusting things Kier Starmer blatantly said were fine?!!! How disgusting a country we must be when the centre ground is owned by ghouls who think its fine to kill children as long as they… Read more »

John Davies
John Davies
7 months ago

In other words Starmer tried to use the centre quite cynically for a photo-op, they have repudiated his visit and it has all blown up in his face. He’s not only nasty, he’s incompetent with it. Or maybe his image-handlers are not trying hard enough?

Sarah Good
Sarah Good
7 months ago
Reply to  John Davies

And these are our choices. An incompetent, corrupt u-turning far right apologist of genocide, or an incompetent, populist centre right apologist of genocide.
“Democracy” eh?

Doctor Trousers
7 months ago

There’s two possibilities.
Either Starmer understood full well that he was stating that Israel has the right to cut off water and electricity to Palestine.
Or he so automatically, thoughtlessly and robotically rolled out the party line that “Israel has the right to defend itself”, that he didn’t even consider the implications of what he was being asked.
Both possibilities are equally dreadful, both demonstrate a total failure to recognise the humanity of the people trapped in Gaza.

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