Eleven councillors including the leader of Burnley Council have resigned from the Labour Party over Sir Keir Starmer's decision not to call for a ceasefire in Gaza.

Council leader Afrasiab Anwar, was among those calling for Sir Keir to step down on Thursday.

He was joined by Ishtiaq Mohammed, Shah Hussain, Asif Raja, Sehrish Lone, Syeda Kazmi, Arif Khan, Lubna Khan, Saeed Chaudhary and Nussrat Kazmi.

The resignation statement, has this evening, also been shared on behalf of community activists Zahid Khan and Aurangzaib Ali and County Councillor Usman Arif.

Cllr Shah Hussain confirmed this evening the statement being shared was on behalf of all those listed.

The statement read: "Since the onset of the violence in Gaza/Israel, we, as a collective have consistently used our roles as councillors to advocate on behalf of our communities to bring peace by urging the leadership to call for a release of all hostages and an immediate ceasefire. We strongly condemn the loss of any innocent life without reservation.

"Every life holds equal value and indiscriminate bombing and collective punishment of innocent civilians is a clear violation of international law."

The statement details how councillors attempted to convey their message to various levels of the Labour Party.

it says: “We always felt it was our responsibility as elected members to work to effect change from within. However, despite our persistent endeavours, it has become apparent that Keir Starmer and the leadership either cannot or will not heed our concerns or acknowledge the sentiments within our communities.”

Lancashire Telegraph: (From top) Afrasiab Anwar,​ Asif Raja, Sehrish Lone, Ishtiaq Mohammed, Shah Hussain and Lubna Khan

It adds: “Regrettably, after exhausting every available option we have arrived at the conclusion that the current party stance on Palestine does not align with the values we hold dear. 

"Consequently, we have decided to resign from the Labour party with immediate effect, feeling that our place within the party if untenable given its present position.

“We cannot remain in a party that is not doing enough whilst innocent people are being killed in Gaza and Israel.

"We will continue to represent our communities as independent councillors on our respective councils and use our voice to challenge injustices across the world."

Lancashire Telegraph: Councillors, Asif Khan, Saeed Chaudhary and Nussrat Kazmi

Sir Keir has also been battling to maintain frontbench discipline, with several members of his top team in revolt against his stance of calling for a humanitarian 'pause' in the fighting in Gaza.

A number of MPs have now either called for a ceasefire or shared others’ calls backing a ceasefire on social media, including Yasmin Qureshi, Jess Phillips and Imran Hussain.

Burnley and Pendle council leaders call for Keir Starmer to resign

The leader of Pendle Council, which is also in Lancashire, also called on Sir Keir to resign on Thursday.

On Thursday Cllr Afrasiab Anwar said: “What we feel should be happening is that the leader of the opposition should in the least be applying pressure on the Prime Minister, on the Government, to call for a ceasefire and a release of all hostages.

He added: “The reason that a humanitarian pause is not good enough is because obviously the aid will get in but then the bombing, the attacks will start again. What we’re seeing is that these innocent civilians have got nowhere to escape to.

“The whole international community came out and said that Israel has the right to defend itself, just as any other nation does, but it’s got to be proportional and within international law."