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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Bradford residents challenge Labour Leadership in council elections with 14 independent candidates from diverse ethnic backgrounds

Motivated by a desire for stronger representation and accountability, more than a dozen united independent Bradford candidates who come from diverse ethnic backgrounds will contest the May 2024 local council elections. These candidates are supported by the Bradford Independent Group, which currently holds four council seats.

The candidates aim to send a clear message to both Keir Starmer and the Bradford Labour leadership. In the face of ongoing humanitarian concerns and growing local socioeconomic problems, they assert that the current leadership locally and nationally has failed to adequately listen to constituents and prioritise their needs.

Key concerns driving the independent candidates’ platform include:

Dissatisfaction with national Labour leadership: Issues such as the plausible genocide committed by Israel in Gaza and an observed erosion of Labour’s commitment to human rights, equalities, and social justice has been the key driver to form an independent alliance.

The current political climate in the United Kingdom has seen a concerning trend of support for Israel, despite widespread opposition from the public. Given that as of late December, 71% of British voters were in favour of an immediate ceasefire (source: recent polls). Despite this clear public sentiment, the Tories continue to be shielded from any significant pressure due to Starmer’s backing.

Labour Leader Keir Starmer Image: Wikipedia

Keir Starmer, in his leadership pitch to Labour members, promised to “put human rights at the heart of foreign policy”. However, many voters have observed a stark contrast between this promise and his actions. There is growing concern over his support for war crimes and failure to condemn them. Furthermore, those opposing a “plausible” genocide have been punished and purged under his watch. This is not just an issue for Muslims but for all who believe in the sanctity of human life and justice.

Disenchantment with local Labour leadership: Highlighting leadership failures in Children’s Services, financial mismanagement, service closures, and the district’s rising reliance on food banks.

Lack of opportunity for young people: Concerns include inequalities in health outcomes, mental health challenges, and the rising unemployment rate.

The 14 Independent candidates promise to prioritise the people of Bradford over party politics, ensuring greater community engagement and responsible management of taxpayer money.

They anticipate this change will foster a more inclusive and ethical political landscape, where individuals can stand against mass violence without fear of political ostracisation.

In the coming weeks, they will present a detailed action plan outlining their vision for a more inclusive and thriving Bradford.

David Ward a former MP for Bradford East, has also joined the 14 as an Independent candidate said:

“Quite simply, enough is enough. When it comes to Gaza and the brutal murder of thousands of innocent Palestinians, Starmer is on the wrong side of history. In Bradford the votes for Labour have been taken for granted for too long. In the hands of the Labour Party the Council is close to being bankrupt and has failed our most vulnerable children – things have got to change”.

Ishtiaq Ahmed

Ishtiaq Ahmed former Bradford Independent Councillor who has also joined the group to contest the Heaton ward seat said:

“The current state of affairs in Bradford under the Labour Party leadership is intolerable. From the financial instability of the council to the failure to protect our most vulnerable children, it is clear that change is needed. Furthermore, Starmer’s stance on Gaza and his contempt for the brutal murder of thousands of innocent Palestinians has raised serious questions about his alignment with justice and human rights. This has led to a growing dissatisfaction among constituents who feel their votes have been taken for granted for too long”.

Toller ward candidate Atira Malik a university student studying Politics said:

“Young people are facing an unprecedented crisis. The time for action is now. We must prioritise the needs of our youth and ensure they have access to quality education, healthcare services, and job training programs”.

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