Ousted Labour shadown frontbencher warns Gaza stance will dog Labour u | Politics | News

A former shadow frontbencher who was ousted last week said Labour’s stance on Gaza will continue to be an issue until the next election.

Thangam Debbonaire, who was defeated by the Green’s Carla Denyer in Bristol Central, spoke out in a Channel 4 interview tonight.

She said: “It’s easy to craft narrative that goes ‘Your MP didn’t vote for a ceasefire’, if your own party hasn’t said we’ve voted twice for a ceasefire, and publicly.”

The former shadow culture secretary said: “I think we’re storing up trouble for those colleagues who did get over the line, as well as those of us who suffered because of it.

“It wasn’t clear and I think I do feel, that’s a choice and we succeeded so, hey, obviously good strategy. But I was collateral damage and others will be too or they’re going to have to spend their entire Parliament in their constituencies working that constituency and trying to rebuild trust.”

Ms Debonnaire warned that people who threaten MPs and candidates, or those who chase them down the street, put them at risk.

In reference to Labour’s stance on Gaza, she added: “I think the lack of a strong narrative had consequences.”

Sir Keir Starmer emphasised the need for a ceasefire and a two-state solution in calls with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, as Israel has shown no inclination to stop its devastating war that has killed more than 38,000 people.

The Prime Minister told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of a “clear and urgent need for a ceasefire, the return of hostages and an immediate increase in the volume of humanitarian aid reaching civilians”.

As the opposition leader, Sir Keir had been accused of not calling for a ceasefire, taking the same line as then Conservative Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

He called for a ceasefire in February after intense public pressure months after opposing a ceasefire resolution in Parliament.

He was also accused of denying tickets to some pro-Palestinian members of the Labour Party, including former party chief Jeremy Corbyn.

At least five pro-Palestinian candidates, including Mr Corbyn, won the elections as independents.

Sir Keir was criticised for saying Israel “has the right” to cut water and electricity supplies to Gaza on an LBC podcast last October.

A Labour Party spokesperson denied Sir Keir justified water and power blockade, saying his comment was in response to a question on Israel’s right to defend itself.

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