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Exclusive: Ex-Labour councillors call elections conference

FORMER Labour councillors from across the country have called a conference to plan electoral opposition to the party’s present war-mongering.

The initiative has been taken by many of the more than 100 local authority representatives who have quit the party in protest at Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer’s all-out backing for Israeli aggression against Palestinians.

The conference, called No Ceasefire No Vote — after a popular slogan at recent Palestine solidarity rallies — targets those Labour MPs in particular who have joined Sir Keir in refusing to call for an end to the Israeli assault on Gaza.

The event will also be open to other campaigners, including independents looking to contest seats in the general election, and will be held on March 2 in London, with a follow-up gathering to be convened in Blackburn in April.

A declaration agreed this week promised to bring together those independent councillors, general election candidates and solidarity campaigners determined to create mass pressure for every candidate to call for a ceasefire and an end to the occupation.

“It aims to support those who have broken from Labour over its repeated refusal  to call for a ceasefire, and to make the demand for a ceasefire central to the general election campaign.

“No Ceasefire No Vote aims to bring the huge anger and energy of the street demonstrations for Palestine into the general election campaign, shifting the debate away from right-wing distractions and onto the most important international issue of our time.

“Together at this conference we will discuss the way forward and draw together these important threads of resistance. The preparation of this conference is an important step on the road to challenging Labour and ultimately, an alternative to Labour.

 “Labour must have no place to hide over its complicity in genocide. We stand ready to support parliamentary candidates who call for a ceasefire, and challenge those who refuse.”

Councillors from Blackburn, Bolton, Bristol, Burnley, Haringey, Kensington, Kirklees, Liverpool, Newham, Nottingham, Oxford and Pendle are among those backing the initiative.

Labour has already acknowledged that it faces a crisis over its policy on Gaza, which has led to plummeting support in Muslim communities in particular and among broader swathes of progressive opinion.

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