Sir Keir Starmer has been accused of having “gravely misrepresented” a meeting with Muslim leaders in south Wales over the weekend, amid anger among some in Labour over the party leader’s position on the Israel-Hamas conflict.
In a statement published late on Tuesday by the South Wales Islamic Centre, it apologised for the “hurt and confusion” caused by hosting Sir Keir.
The Labour leader visited the centre on Sunday, posting images showing him meeting figures from the local community.
In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, he said: “I was grateful to hear from the Muslim community of the South Wales Islamic Centre.
“I repeated our calls for all hostages to be released, more humanitarian aid to enter Gaza, for the water and power to be switched back on, and a renewed focus on the two state solution.”
He said he was “questioned by members” and “made clear it is not and has never been my view that Israel had the right to cut off water, food, fuel or medicines. International law must be followed”.
Sir Keir has faced a backlash from Muslim and left-wing members over previous comments on Israel, after he appeared to suggest in an LBC interview that “Israel does have that right” to cut off power and water.
In a statement posted after the visit the centre said it told Sir Keir his comments were “totally wrong” and offensive to Muslims.
“Facing him is better than avoiding him. We raised all our complaints, and we criticised him for what he said,” it said.