Nine councillors have resigned their membership of the Labour Party over Keir Starmer’s position on the ongoing crisis in Gaza. Starmer has refused to call for a ceasefire and suggested in an LBC interview that Israel had the right to cut off water, electricity and fuel to Gaza.
As a result of the resignations, Labour no longer has a majority on the city council. There are now 23 Labour councillors, 10 independents, 9 Liberal Democrats and 6 Greens.
Chris Jarvis, leader of the Green Party group in Oxford City Council said: “Deciding to leave a political party is an incredibly difficult decision to make, and it is clear that those councillors who have did so on a matter of conscience and principle.
“The Green Party wants to work constructively with all other councillors – including those who are newly independent – to help build a fairer and greener Oxford.”
The Green Party has called for an immediate ceasefire, for full access to humanitarian aid to be granted and for the unconditional release of all hostages held by Hamas. The Green Party has also been clear that Israel’s actions in response to Hamas’ horrific attack on October 7 have been a clear violation of international law, and that there is no route to peace without an end to Israel’s occupation of Palestine and the creation of a Palestinian state.
Councillor Chris Jarvis said: “The Green Party is clear. There can be no tolerance for war crimes, and the international community must come together to secure an immediate ceasefire.
“Locally, we know that Jewish and Muslim residents in Oxford are worried about the ramifications of the situation in Gaza here in the UK. The Green Party is clear that there can be no tolerance for antisemitism or Islamophobia, and we would encourage residents to reach out to their local councillors if they need support.”
Image credit: N Chadwick – Creative Commons