Palestinian peace campaigners have announced their intention to form a new political party to stand against Shabana Mahmood at the next general election. The Ladywood MP received a major backlash online after she refused to back a vote for a ceasefire in Gaza.

The Labour MP, and 140 others in the party, chose to abstain in the Commons vote where Labour leader Keir Starmer was hit by a mass rebellion from his front bench, including the resignation of Yardley MP Jess Phillips from her shadow role. Protestors held a rally over the weekend issuing a vote of no confidence in Ms Mahmood saying: "Bombs rain as you abstain."

A new political party could now be formed to challenge her over her stance on the conflict. It was not clear who would lead the Never Forget Gaza Political Party, but more than £500 had already been raised towards its formation.

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A GoFundMe page, organised by refugee and migrant activist Salman Mirza, read: “As hospitals and residential areas were bombed in Gaza, most people called for a ceasefire. The political class saw cutting food, electricity and aid to Palestinians, many of whom are children, as totally acceptable.

“Amnesty International and many other human rights and aid organisations called this a war crime. We hope to stand a candidate against Shabanna Mahmood, MP for Birmingham Ladywood, in the 2024 general election, with one simple message, "Never Forget Gaza".

“A lot of our politicians think we are going to forget hospitals bombed and children being killed in Gaza. Let's use our vote to remind them!”

It costs £150 to register a political party in the UK. The Never Forget Gaza Political Party have already raised £500 of their target and hope to use the money to fund their campaign efforts. The group said any surplus cash would be donated to Medical Aid for Palestine.

A 'Free Palestine' protest held outside the Birmingham Council House
A 'Free Palestine' protest held outside the Birmingham Council House.

Palestine campaigners came face-to-face with Christmas shoppers last weekend after they stormed into Birmingham's Bullring. The demonstration saw hundreds of peaceful protestors march from Small Heath to the city centre, one of several protests held in the city.

In a letter to her consituents last week, Ms Mahmood said: "I share the upset and concern of you all as we witness the destruction and displacement of human lives on a horrific and unprecedented scale. As a determined and life-time supporter of the rights of Palestinians, and as a British Muslim, I will never shy away from speaking on behalf of people that have undergone decades of brutality and suffering.

"In no uncertain terms: all life is sacred. For me, Palestinian lives matter just as much as any other. The killing of innocent civilians in Gaza must stop immediately. I am also unequivocally clear that wars have laws, and democracies have the responsibility to ensure international humanitarian law is followed at all times.

"My position, as well as that of my party, has been that it is absolutely essential there is a clear distinction between a terrorist group and the innocent civilians of Gaza who have suffered for so long and do not deserve collective punishment. Here at home, where emotions have been running high, we all have a duty to bring our communities closer together, not further apart.

"For if we do not call out brutality and speak up for the oppressed, if we do not feel pain and distress at the loss of innocent lives - whether they're Palestinian or Israeli, Muslim or Jewish - that is when we lose our humanity."

Gaza's Hamas-run health ministry says 13,300 people, including more than 5,000 children, have been killed since the start of Israel's offensive. Ms Mahmood has been approached for a comment.