Oxford City Council Rocked: Labour’s Majority Crumbles Under Gaza Stance

Labour Party Councillor Resignation Meeting

Keir Starmer’s Comments on Israel-Palestine Conflict Spark Mass Resignations

In a shocking turn of events, the Labour Party has witnessed its stronghold over the Oxford City Council dissolve. This monumental political shift is a direct consequence of mounting discontent surrounding Party leader Keir Starmer’s recent comments on the Israel-Palestine issue.

On the 11th of October, Starmer boldly stated, “Israel does have that right,” addressing the contentious matter of whether discontinuing water and electricity supplies to Gaza was a justified response. This has ignited a veritable political firestorm within the party ranks.

Councillor Barbara Coyne of Headington Hill & Northway has been the latest domino to fall, resigning in protest of Starmer’s stance. Her resignation follows in the wake of six other councillors: Imogen Thomas, Edward Mundy, Paula Dunne, Duncan Hall, Dr Hosnieh Djafari-Marbini, and Jabu Nala-Hartley. These officials stepped down, profoundly disturbed by the “Labour leadership’s refusal to condemn the collective punishment of Palestinians.”

In an impassioned statement, Coyne exclaimed: “That the Labour leadership continues to issue hollow statements as we watch a genocide unfold before our eyes is, in my view, unconscionable.” She stressed her inability to align with a party leadership that seemingly disregards international law, human rights, and equality. Adding weight to her words, she stated, “Self-defence does not justify crimes against humanity; no violence against civilians should be condoned.”

Despite her significant political move, Coyne has declared her intent to remain independent. She has explicitly conveyed to Council Leader Susan Brown that she has no intentions of joining any other factions within the Oxford City Council. Her decision mirrors that of Shaista Aziz and Amar Latif, who established a new Independent Group following their resignations.

Addressing their motivations, Aziz shared with the Oxford Mail, “We’re trying to change the direction of the ruling of the city council.” Both Aziz and Latif express a strong desire to collaborate constructively with stakeholders and residents, putting Oxford’s best interests at the forefront.

A spokesperson for the Oxford Labour Party, attempting to navigate the turbulent political waters, simply stated, “That is a matter for them,” reaffirming their commitment to serve local residents and uphold their manifesto promises.

The repercussions of Starmer’s comments continue to reverberate. Already, over 20 Labour councillors have resigned in response. Starmer has attempted to elucidate his statement, asserting Israel’s “right to self-defence” but clarifying that this stance does not endorse withholding humanitarian aid to Gaza. Source

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