A member of Labour’s shadow employment team has resigned “with a heavy heart” over the party’s position on the Israel-Hamas conflict.
Imran Hussain, Labour MP for Bradford East, said he could no longer “sufficiently in all good conscience” serve as a Shadow Employment Minister as he wanted to be a strong advocate for a ceasefire.
Mr Hussain had been the Shadow Minister for the New Deal for Working People since September and was previously Shadow Minister for Work within the BEIS Department.
In a resignation letter to the Labour leader, Keir Starmer, published on social media, Hussain said:
“Over recent weeks, it has become clear that my view on the ongoing humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza differs substantially from the position you have adopted.
A ceasefire is essential to ending the bloodshed, to ensuring that enough aid can pass into Gaza and reach those most in need, and to help ensure the safe return of the Israeli hostages.”
His letter also condemned previous comments by Mr Starmer in an LBC radio interview that Israel had the right to cut off water, food and power to the Gaza strip.
Hussain added that he had been proud to work alongside Starmer and his deputy, Angela Rayner, in developing a plan for employment rights, but could not “in all good conscience” push for a cessation of hostilities while remaining part of the frontbench.
The resignation comes 10 days after former Shadow Secretary of State for Employment Rights, Andy McDonald had the Labour whip withdrawn from him for his comments at a pro-Palestinian rally. McDonald was reported to have said: “We will not rest until we have justice. Until all people, Israelis and Palestinians, between the river and the sea, can live in peaceful liberty.”