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UK Local Elections

British Muslims Voice Discontent with Labour’s Stance on Gaza

Labour Decline

Akhmed Yakoob, a pro-Palestinian independent candidate running for West Midlands mayor, secured nearly 20 per cent of the vote in Birmingham which one of the seven areas which make up the combined authority.

Analysis reveals a significant decline in Labour support in areas with substantial Muslim populations, indicating a divergence in voting priorities.

While this trend underscores the urgency for Labour to address the concerns of Muslim communities, experts suggest its impact on future elections may be limited.

An analysis from Sky News showed that areas with a Muslim population below 5% saw the Labour Party’s vote share increase by 1.1 percentage points. But areas with a Muslim population above 20% saw Sir Keir Starmer’s party lose 17.9 points from their vote share.

Labour lost control of councils in Oldham and Kirklees, with victories for independent candidates opposed to the party’s stance on the war in Gaza.

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George Galloway’s Workers Party of Britain also targeted Labour seats on the issue of Gaza, and won four – including unseating the deputy leader of Manchester council Luthfur Rahman in Longsight.

Muslim members of UK Labour Party warn of voter loss over Gaza stance –  Middle East Monitor

Sadiq Khan

While many people see Sadiq Khan’s win for a third term as London mayor as a contradiction of Muslim voters rejecting Labour, Ali Milani, the national chair of the Labour Muslim Network and a former Labour councillor, holds a different opinion.

“This is something I’ve been warning about for months and it’s no longer polls and speculation – it’s real-life votes,” he told The Guardian. “Whether it’s Oldham or Bolton, Birmingham or Elswick in Newcastle, there’s no question now there’s a serious problem.

“Sadiq is bucking the trend and there’s a reason for that. He was very early in calling for a ceasefire. He is now supporting a suspension of arms sales, as long as it’s clear that international law has been breached. So he did what we should have done and reaped the electoral rewards for that.

“Unfortunately, and it pains me to say it, Muslims don’t think that the Labour party broadly values Palestinian and Muslim lives as equal to others. And nothing encapsulates that better than the message we’ve been sent around the country in other seats and constituencies and mayoralties.”

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