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SIR KEIR STARMER must not take Muslim voters for granted, Labour’s left has warned, as polling reveals support for the party and its leader is falling among Muslim communities.
Coventry South MP Zarah Sultana said today that Labour has to show “loud and clear” where it stands on issues affecting Muslims after the survey suggests the party’s rightward shift is alienating a core element of its support.
According to the poll of 504 British Muslims carried out by Survation on behalf of the Labour Muslim Network, 72 per cent identify with Labour and the party has a net favourability rating of +42 per cent.
But 37 per cent stress their view of Labour has worsened in the past 12 months compared with 25 per cent who say it has improved.
On Sir Keir, 22 per cent of British Muslims have a favourable attitude towards his leadership, while 29 per cent are unfavourable.
The polling follows concerns over the leadership’s approach to Palestine and allegations of racism by party officials against former leader Jeremy Corbyn’s top team in Labour’s governance & legal unit report that was leaked in April 2020.
Ms Sultana said: “This polling shows that support from Muslims can’t be taken for granted.
“The party needs to show that Labour is loud and clear on issues these communities care about, whether that’s tackling inequality and investing in public services or standing up to racism and advocating for justice from Palestine to Kashmir.
“This is both the right thing to do and, as this polling shows, it’s an electoral necessity.”
Labour national executive committee member Mish Rahman said: “This polling reflects a disastrous failure of Keir Starmer’s leadership to represent millions of Muslim voters, who are a key bedrock of Labour’s support. I was canvassing in Batley & Spen this weekend and, over and over again, voters wanted to talk to me about Palestine. They were justifiably angry at the Labour leadership’s failure to take a clear moral and practical stance in support of the Palestinian people.
“Only a bold vision that unites our coalition around a progressive foreign policy and a transformative economic offer, such as the green new deal, will turn this situation round.
“If we do not win this vote by a significant margin, Labour will not be on track to form a government at the next election, which would be disastrous for Starmer, for the party and for the country.”
A Labour spokesperson said the party is committed to a strong relationship with the Muslim community.
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