Swathe of Labour MP hopefuls using ‘hardline’ pro-Palestinian messages to win votes

Candidates put out social media posts in the colours of the Palestinian flag


Several Labour Party parliamentary candidates have been criticised for posting “hardline” pro-Palestine maessages on social media as part of their campaign.

The infographics, created by Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East (LFPME), are designed in the colours of the Palestinian flag and feature some of the candidates’ stated positions on the conflict in Gaza.

These include restoring funding to controversial UN Palestinian refugee agency Unwra – the government stopped funding the UN agency in January this year after claims that several Unwra staff participated in the October 7 massacre – and support for an arms embargo against Israel.

Labour’s candidates who have posted the pro-Palestine messages on Twitter/ X include Rachel Hopkins, Labour’s candidate in Luton South and South Bedfordshire; Sarah Owen who is contesting Luton North; Paula Barker in Liverpool Wavertree and fellow Merseyside candidate Kim Johnson in Liverpool Riverside. 



A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism told the JC that "it is alarming that a number of Labour candidates are calling for a full restoration of funding to Unwra, with apparently no concern for longstanding allegations of antisemitism within the discredited UN agency, especially in its educational materials and among its teachers, and claims that its facilities and even some staffers have been involved with Hamas, the antisemitic genocidal terror group that massacred 1,200 Israelis and took some 250 hostage.

“At a time of surging antisemitism, all candidates for Parliament should be committing to fighting the world's oldest hatred, not backing the organisations that enable and perpetuate it.”

Rachel Hopkins and Sarah Owen did not call for a release of Israeli hostages held by Hamas in their social media posts, while Kim Johnson and Paula Barker did. All called for the restoration of Unwra funding.

Theresa Villiers, the former Northern Ireland Secretary and Conservative candidate in Chipping Barnet told the JC that “these posts are a reminder that Labour’s hardliners haven’t gone away. Labour haven’t really changed.”

The Labour Party has been contacted for comment.

This is not the first instance of political parties using the war in Gaza as part of their election campaign. Former Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was pictured campaigning with SNP candidate for Glasgow East David Linden handing out the Palestinian flag in branded leaflet outside a mosque.

The JC also revealed that Green Party co-leader Carla Denyer had used the Palestinian flag and images of destruction in Gaza as part of her campaign to become the next MP in Bristol Central. Former Jewish Labour MP Louise Ellman accused her of “stirring division”.

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