Labour chaos as Keir Starmer is hit by 20 councillor resignations | Politics | News | EUROtoday

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Sir Keir Starmer is dealing with council chaos at this time after 20 Labour politicians stop his celebration en masse over allegations of bullying and stifling of free speech.

The swathe of resignations, together with that of a council chief”, noticed the 20 councillors slam the Labour celebration for “attempting to impose their ideas at a local level”.

Pendle Borough Council chief Asjad Mahmood defiantly mentioned: “I was elected to serve the public, not party officials”.

The giant variety of resignations come from three councils within the North West, particularly Pendle, Brierfield and Nelson.

In his livid assertion, Cllr Mahmood mentioned: “I, along with my colleagues, was elected by local residents to represent them in the council chamber”.

“As a Labour councillor, I have always felt the party’s policies were aligned with my own beliefs and those of the constituents who have honoured me with their votes.

“Sadly, over a recent period, senior party officials have attempted to impose their ideas at a local level. I was elected to serve the public, not party officials.”

Cllr Yvonne Tennant added: “At a time when 14 years of Tory cuts are affecting local people across Pendle, the Labour Party leadership should be allowing hard-working councillors the opportunity to challenge the Tories”.

“Instead, colleagues are being hindered from fulfilling their roles.”

Cllr Mohammed Iqbal mentioned: “I used to be suspended from the celebration for 18 months earlier than it was lifted in December 2023 for advocating on behalf of my constituents.”

He added: “I joined the Labour Party over 30 years ago and have always been encouraged to speak out on issues.

“However, senior figures within the party are attempting to stifle free speech and threaten dedicated councillors with removal as candidates. I, for one, cannot stand by and allow this to happen. The bullying needs to stop.”

Lib Dem deputy leader of Pendle Council, David Whipp, said he is “not surprised about the resignations from the Labour Party”.

He added: “Under Keir Starmer it appears to have become very intolerant of diverse views. I am happy to work with the newly independent councillors on Pendle Council.”

Pendle Council has been hit with divisions of Israel and Palestine since the conflict broke out in October last year.

Despite the council having no authority over foreign policy, councillors there have held two debates on Gaza, with calls for peace, humanitarian aid, a political solution for Israel and Palestinine.

Councillors have even proposed a “Homes for Palestinians” scheme.

Local Tory MP Andrew Stephenson told the Express: “Pendle Labour are in whole disarray”.

“Several Pendle Labour Councillors have been seen campaigning for Azhar Ali in Rochdale after his suspension, together with Cllr Mohammed Iqbal and among the others who’ve now stop the Labour Party.

“Given Cllr Iqbal was suspended from the Labour Party for over a year whilst they investigated anti-Semitic comments you have to ask why they readmitted him less than six months ago.”