ANOTHER Labour councillor has resigned from the party with immediate effect over comments Sir Keir Starmer made about the Israel-Gaza war.
Saying she made the decision after “much soul-searching and tears,” Cambridge City Council’s Mairéad Healy referenced an interview the leader of the Labour Party held with LBC.
In the interview, Sir Keir Starmer said “Israel has the right” to withhold power and water from Gaza.
Announcing that she had resigned, Ms Healy said that she would now represent the Romsey ward as an independent councillor. after saying in a statement on Facebook she had also resigned from her position as executive councillor for communities, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.
“In recent times, it has become increasingly unconscionable to remain in a party which has lurched so far to the right, that it is hard to distinguish itself as a party of genuine opposition,” she said.
The “final straw”, she said, was comments made by the national party leadership regarding the Israel and Gaza conflict.
Ms Healy said the Labour leadership was “encouraging collective punishment towards the Palestinian people by condoning the indiscriminate withholding of water and energy supplies in Gaza”, which she said was illegal under international law.
She said: “I will continue for the remainder of my term, standing up for those most disadvantaged in our city, championing local issues in Romsey and will seek to always advocate for those who need support.”
Councils to have seen resignations include Cambridge, Gloucester, Haringey, Islington, Kensington, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Nottingham and Stroud.
Eight councillors in Oxford have resigned from Labour, leaving the party without a majority for the first time in over a decade. Six of these resignations came at a meeting of Oxford and District and Labour Party on October 20.
In a speech announcing her resignation at the meeting, Oxford City Councillor Imogen Thomas said: “The Labour leadership, locally and nationally, has sought to actively silence members and representatives who have acted to highlight violations of international law, banning motions, as we’ve seen, from branches, strongly advising councillors against attending demonstrations.”