A LEADING Labour politician in Lancashire has quit the party amid the Gaza crisis.

Sobia Malik is a Lancashire County Councillor and hails from a family with strong roots in the Labour Party for decades. Her father Rafique Malik was an ex-Burnley Mayor and councillor for many years. Her brother Shahid was an MP for Dewsbury during the last Labour administration.

The Labour Party has faced increased pressure from local councillors and grassroots members and a number of long-standing party members have quit the party in recent weeks.

In a statement she said: “It is with great sadness that I have decided to resign as a Labour Lancashire County Councillor. The values of the Labour and trade union movement have guided and shaped my life. The Labour Party has been my family and my home. Which makes this resignation even more painful."

She accused Sir Keir Starmer of failing to “demonstrate empathy or compassion” amid her claims of ‘war crimes’.

She added: “Whilst Rishi Sunak as the leader of this country has demonstrated zero empathy for the loss of 9,000 lives in Palestine, it does not come as a shock.

"But, it is a shock when the leader of the Labour Party fails to hear the calls for a ceasefire and instead such calls fall on deaf ears. This despite the fact that a child perishes in Gaza every 15 minutes due to the actions of the Israeli government.”

The county councillor for Burnley Central East said she will ‘always love the Labour Party and its values’ but would now serve as an independent Lancashire county councillor.

Burnley and Pendle council leaders call for Keir Starmer to resign