‘This is for Gaza’ – UK’s Labour Party Loses 5 Seats to Pro-Palestine Independent Candidates

Jeremy Corbyn defeated the Labour candidate and won a parliamentary seat. (Photo: via Corbyn TW Page)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Corbyn, the former leader of the opposition defeated Praful Nargund, a local Labour councilor selected by the party’s executive committee as its candidate in May.

Britain’s Labour Party, which ended 14 years of Conservative rule with a landslide victory, lost five parliamentary seats to candidates who made Israel’s war on Gaza central to their campaigns, the Anadolu news agency reported.

In Birmingham Perry Barr, Labour’s representative Khalid Mahmood lost to independent Ayoub Khan by a margin of 507 votes. 

A few days before the election, Khan told Anadolu in an interview that the Liberal Democrats wanted to prevent him from speaking about Gaza. 

“So ultimately, I made the decision to stand as an independent by resigning from the party,” Khan said.

Birmingham, a city with a population of 1.2 million, is home to more than 300,000 Muslims. 

Many of the residents have been vocal against Israel’s offensive on Gaza, which has resulted in over 38,000 Palestinian deaths and 87,000 injuries, most of them women and children.

In Leicester South, Shockat Adam declared, “This is for Gaza,” as he won the seat by 979 votes. 

This constituency, where around 30 percent of the electorate is Muslim, had been held by Labour’s Jonathan Ashworth for 13 years.

In Dewsbury and Batley, independent candidate Iqbal Mohamed, whose key focus areas include a ceasefire and peace agreement in Gaza, defeated Labour candidate Heather Iqbal.

After decades of strong support, the Labour Party has seen a sharp decline in support from Muslims, largely due to party leader Keir Starmer’s pro-Israel stance. 

In Blackburn, Labour’s Kate Hollern lost to Adnan Hussain, who stated in an online message to voters, “I promise to make your concerns against the injustice being inflicted against the people of Gaza be heard in the places where our so-called representatives failed.”

Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn ran as an independent and successfully retained his long-held seat in London’s Islington North, defeating his Labour rival by over 7,000 votes. 

He has long been a pro-Palestine advocate, and his platform included a call to end the occupation of Palestinian territories.

‘Free Palestine’

Corbyn, the former leader of the opposition defeated Praful Nargund, a local Labour councilor selected by the party’s executive committee as its candidate in May.

Corbyn received 24,120 votes, while Nargund secured 16,873 votes. Turnout for the election was 67.5%, down from 71.6% in 2019.

His victory speech was reportedly followed by chants of “Free Palestine”.

“I owe my life and my learning and my abilities entirely to the people of Islington North. This victory is dedicated entirely to them,” Corbyn stated. 

He also said that voters who supported the Labor party would be “looking for a government that on the world stage will search for peace and not war and not allow for terrible conditions that are happening in Gaza at the present time.”

Corbyn was first suspended in 2020 and then expelled from his old party. 

(PC, Anadolu)

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