Keir Starmer at Labour Party conference.

Starmer to face MPs over Gaza stance as he stands accused of ‘gravely misrepresenting’ Islamic centre visit

Keir Starmer will today face a group of Muslim MPs and peers from the Labour Party, according to reports. 

The meeting, to be held straight after prime minister’s questions finished at 12.45 pm, will discuss the backlash to the Party’s position on the conflict in Israel and Gaza.

It will also be attended by Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner. 

It comes as Starmer has been heavily criticised after his comments in an interview with LBC during Labour Party conference, which were interpreted as him suggesting Israel had the right to withhold water and food from Palestinians in Gaza.

During the LBC interview, he appeared to suggest that “Israel does have that right” to cut off power and water.

He has since sought to clarify Labour’s stance on the matter, reiterating that Israel should act within the constraints of international law.

Starmer has denied he ever backed Israel withholding humanitarian aid from Gaza.

After a visit to a mosque in South Wales, a post on X (formerly known as Twitter) from the Labour leader read: “I was grateful to hear from the Muslim community of the South Wales Islamic Centre.

“I repeated our calls for all hostages to be released, more humanitarian aid to enter Gaza, for the water and power to be switched back on, and a renewed focus on the two state solution.”

Subsequently, the Labour leader has been accused of having “gravely misrepresented” the meeting with Muslim leaders. 

The centre’s statement said: “We wish to stress Keir Starmer’s social media post and images gravely misrepresented our congregants and the nature of the visit.

“We affirm, unequivocally, the need for a free Palestine. We implore all those with political authority to uphold international law, and to end the occupation of Palestine.”

The centre said it wanted to “apologise for the hurt and confusion that our hosting of this visit has caused”.

It added: “Our intention was to raise the concerns of the Muslim community around the suffering of Palestinians, and so we hosted an event initially with local representatives on the issue, and the knowledge of Keir Starmer’s attendance was given at short notice.

“There was a robust and frank conversation which reflected the sentiments Muslim communities are feeling at this time. Members of the community directly challenged Keir on his statements made on the Israeli government’s right to cut food, electricity and water to Gaza, warranting war crimes as well as his failure to call for an immediate ceasefire.” is the UK’s leading digital-only political website, providing comprehensive coverage of UK politics. Subscribe to our daily newsletter here.