An eleventh Labour councillor has quit the party in Burnley meaning there is no party without an outright majority in the council.

Cllr Christine Sollis joined 10 other councillors who have resigned over the stance of the Labour leadership and the failure of Sir Keir Starmer to call for a ceasefire in Gaza.

Cllr Sollis is a member of the Women for Peace Group and has travelled to Palestine to take part in numerous charitable activities.

The destruction taking place in Palestine was said to be quite ‘personal’ to Cllr Sollis who said she has friends in the areas being attacked.

She revealed no further details at this stage over the resignation but to say that she ‘does not take sides in the conflict and prayed for all those innocent lives lost on both sides’. 

She is said to have made the decision to resign on Monday night.

On Sunday night Burnley Council boss Cllr Afraisiab Anwar resigned along with nine other councillors.

It now means there are 11 Labour councillors, 11 former party members sitting as Independents, seven Liberal Democrats, seven Green councillors, seven Tories and two other Burnley and Padiham Independents.

Local councillors who have quit the Labour Party in recent weeks have repeatedly spoken over the bombing of Gaza, saying this was a humanitarian issue and not one of religion.

Cllr Mark Townsend is the new leader of the Labour Party and has said that his group will continue to support Cllr Anwar, who is two years into his four-year term in charge. Cllr Townsend was contacted for comment but was unable to respond.

Burnley Labour group backs former leader who quit over Gaza

Burnley councillors and leader quit Labour Party over Gaza stance

The Burnley Labour Group did however post a response to the recent resignations.

It says: “The events of the last few weeks have proven to be a highly emotional time, and while we are disappointed obviously to have lost colleagues and friends from the Labour Group on Burnley Council, we know this decision has not been taken lightly. 

“Let us be clear, we hold no ill will to the newly Independent councillors and sincerely wish them well in serving their residents.

“As Labour people, as mothers, fathers, sons and daughters, we all want an end to the violence and for there to be a just and lasting peace.

“For Burnley and Padiham, Labour proudly stands up for working people, for fairness, justice, equality and opportunities for all. We want our towns and villages to face the future with confidence and security, where everyone can reach their full potential.”