Eight Labour councillors in Hackney urge party leader Sir Keir Starmer to back all-out ceasefire in Gaza

Under pressure: Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer. Photograph: UK Parliament

More Hackney Labour councillors are urging the party leadership to support calls for an end to hostilities in Gaza.

Frank Baffour, Fliss Premru, Sophie Conway, Clare Joseph, Claudia Turbet-Delof, and Penny Wrout are among 300 party colleagues who have signed an open letter urging Sir Keir Starmer to back an all-out ceasefire.

Cllrs Soraya Adejare and Humaira Garasia are also among the signatories, having previously signed a different letter by the Labour Muslim Network that also calls for the party to support a ceasefire.

Starmer has backed a partial ceasefire to allow humanitarian aid to reach people, but said he does not believe a ceasefire is “the correct position now” and could lead to more violence from Hamas.

In the open letter, councillors said: “As community leaders, we are proactively supporting our residents by speaking to faith and community groups and working to protect our communities who are facing rising hate crime and racially motivated violence.

“The intensified human catastrophe in Gaza impacts us all, and the Labour Party’s failure to call for an end to violence is causing hurt in our communities.”

They also want to see the Israeli hostages captured by Hamas last month returned safely to their families.

Cllr Joseph said the plight of children caught up in the outbreak of war spurred her to act.

She said: “The United Nations general secretary Antonio Guterres has called for an immediate ceasefire. He says Gaza is ‘becoming a graveyard for children’. Over 4,000 children have been killed so far.

“Save the Children says more children have been killed in the past month in Gaza than in any other armed conflict combined since 2019.

“The heads of 18 UN agencies and non-government organisations have called for an immediate ceasefire.

“Time is running out for the children of Gaza. Their trauma is hard to imagine and will be passed on for generations to come.

“We must act now, do the right thing and call for a ceasefire, release of the hostages and peaceful negotiations.”