Labour Denounces Alleged ‘Racist’ Remark from Party Insider in West Midlands

_Labour Denounces Alleged 'Racist' Remark from Party Insider in West Midlands
credit: telegraph

London (Parliament News) – Labour Party condemns racist comment to BBC, alleging bias in West Midlands mayoral race. Criticism mounts over the party’s Gaza stance. MPs demand swift action against the perpetrator. Conservatives see losses.

Labour has criticised a “racist” comment delivered by an unknown party source to the BBC after it lost backing in heavily Muslim areas. The reference told the BBC they thought the West Midlands mayor, Andy Street, was on course to succeed as a result of the “Middle East, not West Midlands” and called Hamas the “real villains”.

The comment, which was swiftly denounced by the Labour Party and MPs on Friday, comes as results are anticipated in the London and West Midlands mayoral elections. Campaigners have cautioned that the party has lost ground over its stance on Gaza. “It’s the Middle East, not West Midlands that will have succeeded Street the mayoralty, once again Hamas are the real villains,” the source revealed to BBC West Midlands.

How Did Labour React to Alleged Racism?

On Friday, Labour MPs from Birmingham called the statement “vile racism” and expressed the individual should be “immediately” dismissed from the party. “Such anti-Muslim bigotry will only serve to estrange a community that has long sustained Labour in its efforts to transform this nation for the better,” said Tahir Ali, the Labour MP for Birmingham, Hall Green.

Jess Phillips, the MP for Birmingham Yardley, stated: “I’m glad that the Labour Party have quickly condemned it. Journalists should I think be clearer [about] the nature of the source because this could just be some complete idiot no-mark with a Labour sticker on.”

Are Labour Calling for Immediate Action?

Reflecting on their remarks on Saturday, Ellie Reeves, Labour’s deputy national campaign coordinator, stated the language was “unacceptable” and had “racist undertones”. “I absolutely condemn that comment, it doesn’t represent the Labour Party’s view and all the Labour Party’s values,” Reeves told the BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. “We’ve been quite clear in saying that this is not a Labour party representative saying these things.”

“If you look at some of the results, we have to be honest and say we have lost some support and we need to gain back trust amongst those Muslim communities,” stated Reeves, adding that the party had called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

Miran Hassan, director of the Labour Middle East Council, which operates on key issues affecting the UK’s association with the Middle East and North Africa, stated: “In our interconnected world, we cannot overlook the effects that international conflicts have on our communities, nor can we ignore the growing impact of foreign policy on electoral outcomes.”

What Were the Election Results for Conservatives and Labour?

Closing out the first day of results, the Conservatives had met a net loss of 400 seats and lost power of 10 councils. But as Labour celebrated successes in places such as Blackpool, Hartlepool and Thurrock, nervousness stayed over upcoming mayoral results after the party lost backing among urban and Muslim voters, including relinquishing control of several council seats in Oldham council to pro-Palestinian independent candidates.

What Was Keir Starmer’s Stance on Gaza?

Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, delivered an interview in October in which he declared Israel had the right to withhold power and water from Gaza. He later switched that position but refused to back calls for a ceasefire. Dozens of Labour MPs fought party orders and voted for a Scottish National party motion in the Commons calling for a ceasefire.

The West Midlands mayoralty result is anticipated at about 3 pm on Saturday as Street pursues re-election for a third term, after having ditched connections to the Conservative party from his campaign material.

Results of the London mayoral competition and London assembly elections are also due on Saturday as Labour’s Sadiq Khan aims for a third term against the Tory contender, Susan Hall.

A Labour spokesperson stated: “The Labour Party has strongly condemned this racist quote which has not come from anyone who is speaking on behalf of the party or whose values are welcome in the party.”

Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.