EXCLUSIVE: While the borough’s Labour MPs and councillors continue to support the party line on Israeli war crimes in Gaza, one senior member has quit with a highly critical parting shot. By STEVEN DOWNES
Robert Canning, an ex-councillor described as “one of our best” by a former Croydon Town Hall colleague, has resigned from the Labour Party over its continued mishandling of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, stating that party leader Sir Keir Starmer’s “moral compass is completely broken”.
Canning was a Labour councillor in Waddon ward for eight years until May 2022, having helped to win the ward from the Tories in 2014, an election success that also secured control of the council.
Canning sent in his resignation letter on Tuesday, and wrote to the Labour group leader at Croydon Town Hall, Stuart King, as well as his Constituency Labour Party secretary in Croydon South, Lynda Graham, and his former council ward colleague, Joy Prince.
His decision came before the controversial cancellation of the Labour fund-raising dinner, planned for tonight, which was reported exclusively by Inside Croydon. The event, to be attended by almost 200 members and supporters, was to raise campaign funds for Steve Reed, a member of Starmer’s front-bench team and among the leading Labour apologists for the Israeli military action.
Canning’s is among hundreds of resignations from the party, including dozens of councillors up and down the country, as they quit out of disgust at the party leadership’s effective endorsement of the war crimes being inflicted by the Israeli state on civilians in Gaza, where thousands have been killed in the past month.
No Croydon Labour councillors or MPs have resigned or even spoken out against the on-going slaughter of Palestinians.
Canning, a former senior civil servant, has been a lifelong Labour member and was regularly among the local party’s activists on the doorstep, delivering leaflets or canvassing.
That’s unlikely to happen again.
In his letter, Canning wrote, “I cannot sit idly by while Keir Starmer and his front bench refuse to call out Israeli government war crimes and support calls for a ceasefire whilst thousands of women and children, who are completely unconnected to Hamas, are slaughtered in Gaza.
“Any idiot can say that the Israeli government’s response to the shocking Hamas attack on Israel must comply with international law.
“But it must be obvious to a lawyer of Keir Starmer’s standing that collective punishment by cutting off the water, food and energy supplies of women and children in Gaza is a war crime, yet he won’t call this war crime out.
“I have come to the conclusion that his moral compass is completely broken and therefore he is no longer a fit and proper person to lead the Labour Party.
“I am no longer willing to canvas for him or for a Labour government.”
Read more: Only one Croydon MP attended mosques’ emergency meetings
Read more: Starmer’s Labour is ‘losing members, losing funds, losing staff’
Read more: #TheLabourFiles: MP Reed, Evans and the Croydon connection
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