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Labour Faces Setback in High Muslim Population Areas Amid Controversial Stances on Middle East Issues

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Jess Phillips acknowledges Labour needs to reflect following vote loss in high Muslim populace regions

Sky News analysis reveals that in regions where less than 5% of the population is Muslim, there was a slight rise of 1.1 percentage points in support for the Labour Party. However, in areas where the Muslim population exceeds 20%, the party led by Sir Keir Starmer experienced a significant drop of 17.9 percentage points in their vote share.

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Saturday, May 4, 2024, 1:

MP Jess Phillips has stated that the Labour Party needs to critically examine its shortcomings in regions with significant Muslim demographics following its underwhelming performance.

In a conversation with Beth Rigby on the Electoral Dysfunction podcast, the MP for Birmingham Yardley expressed that her party must confront and address the challenges that resulted in losing seats to the Greens, independents, and the Workers Party of Britain.

Ms. Phillips stated, "There are concerns involving independents and the Greens that the Labour Party must address, whether it be tomorrow morning, Monday morning, or whenever that may be."

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In certain traditional Labor strongholds, the party continues to hold onto the council, such as in areas like Newcastle, where the Green Party is also gaining ground.

"As the mayoral election results are tallied, particularly in cities such as Birmingham and Bradford, which have significant Muslim communities—similar to what we observed in Oldham—I anticipate that the Labour Party will face some introspective queries and a bit of soul-searching."

"Regardless of perspective, it's clear that the Labour Party had a successful evening."

According to data examined by Sky News, regions where less than 5% of the population is Muslim experienced a 1.1 percentage point rise in support for the Labour Party.

In regions where the Muslim population exceeds 20%, the vote share for Sir Keir Starmer’s party decreased by 17.9 percentage points.

Stay updated on local election outcomes: Track real-time results here

It is believed that Labour's position on the conflict between Israel and Hamas is influencing the Muslim electorate.

Labour relinquished governance of councils in Oldham and Kirklees, where independent candidates who disagreed with the party's position on the Gaza conflict secured wins.

The precise effect on the elections remains unclear, following the departure of several Labour councillors who left the party due to disagreements with its position on the Middle East conflict.

George Galloway's Workers Party of Britain focused its efforts on Labour-held constituencies concerning the issue of Gaza, securing four victories. This included defeating Manchester council's deputy leader Luthfur Rahman in Longsight.

According to the BBC, Labour had low expectations for their performance in the West Midlands mayoral election, an area that includes Ms. Phillips' constituency. A reporter mentioned that a Labour insider commented, "It's the Middle East, not the West Midlands, that will secure the mayoralty for Street. Once again, Hamas are the ones to blame."

The Labour Party publicly denounced the incident, with shadow paymaster general Jonathan Ashworth stating, "This is utterly unacceptable. I'm pleased the Labour Party have swiftly and correctly criticized it.

"This quote, which is racist, does not originate from a representative of the party nor does it align with the values that the party embraces."

On the program Politics Hub with Sophy Ridge, Yvette Cooper, who serves as the shadow home secretary for Labour, was questioned about any potential shifts in the party's position.

She acknowledged that the party's position on the conflict has influenced opinions in certain regions.

Ms. Cooper mentioned that the situation in Gaza was somewhat influential, alongside certain local council issues.

Stay informed with the most recent updates from both the UK and across the globe by tuning into Sky News.

Sky's plan for covering the election – ways to stay updated

This weekend: Join Sophy Ridge for a special episode of Politics Hub on Saturday evening from 7 to 9 PM. Then, catch Sunday Morning with Trevor Phillips as he reviews the events, running from 8:30 to 10 AM on Sunday.

How can I tune in? Access the broadcast on Freeview channel 233, Sky channel 501, Virgin channel 603, BT channel 313, or online via YouTube and the Sky News website and app. Additionally, live streaming is available on this page and on YouTube.

Stay updated with the newest developments on our politics page.

She continued, "It involves a variety of elements."

"Clearly, this is a deeply emotional issue for many, and justifiably so, given that the conflict has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths, predominantly among women and children."

"We urgently require an immediate ceasefire, and the hostages have been released. There is a critical need for swift humanitarian intervention."

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