Labour councillor Nadiah Sharp quits over failure to back Israel-Gaza ceasefire
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Nadiah Sharp criticised party leader Sir Keir Starmer’s stance on the conflict as she announced her intention to continue sitting as an independent on Wakefield Council.
Coun Sharp, who is Palestinian by heritage, was elected as a councillor for Wrenthorpe and Outwood West ward in May 2022.
In a resignation letter, seen by the Local Democracy Reporting Service, sent to local party leaders today (December 13), she said: “It is with a heavy heart that I must resign from the Labour Party and sit as an independent councillor for Wrenthorpe and Outwood West.”
She said Labour’s stance “does not align with how I feel and how a political party should enact policy.”
Coun Sharp added: “Keir Starmer, a supposed human rights lawyer and a man knighted for his work for public prosecution in this country is about to become prime minister and it’s frightening to me.
“I fear for all fellow British Palestinians.
“I fear for all fellow Muslims, as currently we do not have a voice.
“I have waited all this time hoping he (Sir Keir) would recant, but most of all hoped he would see humanity in the Palestinians and try to negotiate somehow with the Israeli government.
“The time has now passed and I have to move into the New Year with a clear conscience and clarity.
“I am willing to work with the community, not bound to any political party that believes their nobility and right to ‘defend’ it’s own country, hinges on the genocide of unarmed women and children.”
When contacted, Coun Sharp confirmed she had formally resigned from the party but said she did “not wish to comment further at this stage.”
Despite the resignation, Labour remains in strong control of the local authority, holding 48 of 63 seats.
There are now seven independents, five Conservatives and three Lib Dems.
In November, Sir Keir suffered a major rebellion in the party at Westminster over his stance on the war, with 56 of his MPs voting for an immediate ceasefire.
Eight shadow ministers quit their roles to back a motion from the SNP.
Sir Keir has instead backed pauses in the conflict to deliver aid.