Merton Labour councillor quits over Israel-Gaza posts

A councillor in south London who was suspended by the Labour Party over her comments on the Israel-Gaza conflict has resigned from the party.

Councillor Caroline Charles said she was "kicked out" for calling for a "ceasefire now" on social media.

The party said she was placed "under administrative suspension" on Thursday and subsequently resigned her membership", on Friday

Ms Charles said she resigned from the party over its Israel-Gaza policies.

Sources told BBC London her suspension followed a series of "inappropriate" social media posts about the conflict.

Posting on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Thursday Ms Charles said: "Just been told by @Merton_Council that I've been kicked out of the Labour Group. No-one had the decency to inform me. It's because I said 'Ceasefire Now'. Don't be shy. Admit it."

On leaving the party, she told BBC London: "I have resigned from the party over their stance on the war in Palestine and their refusal to call for a ceasefire."

When the issue came up for a vote in the House of Commons in November, the Labour leadership backed the government in calling for humanitarian pauses instead of a full ceasefire.

Sir Keir Starmer suffered a rebellion on the vote, including about one third of London's Labour MPs backing a ceasefire motion.

Mayor Sadiq Khan is also among senior party figures to have called for a ceasefire.

A Merton Council spokesperson said Ms Charles had been suspended "pending the outcome of a confidential investigation" by the party which it had not disclosed to the council.

They added after her resignation from the group she "remains a councillor for Ravensbury ward, but now as an independent representative".

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