A BRADFORD councillor has resigned from the Labour Party over comments made by Sir Keir Starmer about the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict.

Councillor Taj Salam, who represents Little Horton on Bradford Council, will now serve as an independent councillor after quitting the party.

In his resignation letter - seen by the Telegraph & Argus today - Cllr Salam said he was "appalled" by an interview Labour leader Sir Keir gave to LBC radio on October 11.

Host Nick Ferrari asked Sir Keir if "cutting off power, cutting off water" to Gaza was an appropriate response by Israel following the Hamas terror attack on October 7.

Sir Keir replied: "I think that Israel does have that right.

"Obviously, everything should be done within international law."

But Sir Keir has since argued he "was not saying that Israel had the right to cut off water, food, fuel or medicines".

He said he had intended to say that Israel has the right to defend itself and retrieve the around 200 hostages being held by Hamas - "within international law".

In his resignation letter, Cllr Salam said: "I have given my notice to the Labour Party to cancel my membership and have resigned from the Labour Party. 

"I was appalled by the comments made by the leader of the Labour Party to LBC, when he said that Israel has the right to cut off water, electricity, fuel and medical supplies to Gaza, which were also then reaffirmed by (shadow attorney general) Emily Thornberry.

"I joined the Labour Party for its core values of equality, fairness, inclusiveness and justice, but these were overlooked, in fact forgotten, when the leader was making his comments to LBC. 

"When I stood as a councillor for Labour my aim was to represent all communities in my ward and to make a positive impact, and I felt the Labour Party gave me that platform, but Sir Keir Starmer's and the Labour Party's stance on the current Israel-Palestinian conflict has left me feeling isolated, gagged and shackled.

"It has also caused great distress to residents in Little Horton ward and across our district.

"I unequivocally condemn all acts of violence - the attack of Hamas targeting innocent Israeli civilians is totally unacceptable and I join the call for all Israeli hostages to be freed immediately.

"Hamas is not Palestinian people and Palestinian people are certainly not Hamas, but the continuous bombardment and devastation on innocent men, women and children in Gaza is collective punishment and is breach of international law and must be condemned.

"I am deeply horrified because instead of calling for immediate ceasefire, the Labour Party has supported such acts and made disturbing comments."

He added: "The current situation in Gaza is deeply concerning. 

"Withdrawal of basic human necessities like food, water, electricity and medical supplies will intensify the conditions further. 

"There has been failure by the Labour Party alongside the international community to recognise and acknowledge the complexity of the situation in Gaza.

"I will continue to serve the residents of Little Horton as your councillor, to the best of my ability, as I have done since 2015."

Speaking to broadcasters on Friday, Sir Keir said: "I know that LBC clip has been widely shared and caused real concern and distress in some Muslim communities, so let me be clear about what I was saying and what I wasn't saying.

"I was saying that Israel has the right to self-defence, and when I said that right I meant it was that right to self-defence. 

"I was not saying that Israel had the right to cut off water, food, fuel or medicines.

"On the contrary - for over a week now, I have been leading the charge calling for that humanitarian aid to come in."

The T&A learned today that another Bradford councillor, Sarfraz Nazir, has also resigned from the Labour Party.

Cllr Nazir, who represents Manningham, is now also an independent councillor.

However, his exact reason for resigning from the party is not clear as he did not wish to comment further when approached by the T&A.

The central Labour Party and the Bradford Labour Party have been approached for comment.