UK Conservative politician presses government to reveal legal advice on Israeli actions in Gaza

LONDON: The UK’s main opposition party has suffered a sharp fall in membership over its policies on Gaza and green investment, The Guardian reported.

Figures from the Labour Party’s National Executive Committee show that more than 23,000 people have canceled their membership over the last two months.

It follows controversies over the party leadership’s refusal to call for a ceasefire in Gaza, and a decision to abandon a commitment to spend $35 billion on a green investment plan.

Despite the membership losses, however, Labour still holds a commanding lead in UK opinion polling, suggesting it will take government at the next election, ending 14 years of Conservative rule.

David Evans, the party’s general secretary, revealed in a report this week that membership had fallen from 390,000 in January this year to 366,604 at the latest count.

Membership peaked at more than 532,000 in 2019.

Party insiders say that the drop has been caused by anger among Muslim and green supporters.

Party leader Keir Starmer’s weeks-long refusal to call for a ceasefire in Gaza last year resulted in more than 70 Labour councilors resigning from the party.

A senior Labour figure said of the latest results: “It is a big fall in just two months. People were surprised, even taken aback.”

Starmer has also faced a rebellion from Labour MPs over his stance on Gaza, including on the frontbench, with Jess Phillips, then shadow minister for domestic violence, resigning in November.

She said at the time: “I have to use my voice to try, and wherever possible, move the dial. And look, I think this dial will move.

“I think that it won’t be too long before the US and the UK feel that the (Israeli) military action is achieving nothing.”

Momentum, a Labour-allied grassroots political campaign opposed to Starmer, said that the party was taking its supporters for granted.

A statement from the movement, which supported previous leader Jeremy Corbyn, said: “From a failure to oppose Israel’s brutal war on Gaza to morale-damaging U-turns and the mistreatment of Diane Abbott, Keir Starmer is alienating swathes of Labour’s core support.”

Yorum yapın