Dewsbury and Batley councillors who quit Labour party part of new group of Kirklees councillors

Four recently-resigned ex-Labour Kirklees councillors – including two for Dewsbury and Batley - have come together to form a new group.
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The resignations began just over a month ago with Dewsbury West councillor, Coun Ammar Anwar, who cited the Labour party’s stance on the Israel-Hamas conflict and disappointment in current leadership as his reasons for leaving.

Just last week, a further three then-Labour councillors – Crosland Moor and Netherton’s Coun Jo Lawson, and Coun Imran Safdar, and Batley East’s Coun Ebrahim Dockrat – followed suit, announcing their resignations from the party for similar reasons.

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Coun Dockrat, who had been suspended by the Labour Party for allegedly posting anti-Semitic content on social media – which he denied – felt the party was taking too long in concluding its investigation into the matter.

Coun Anwar speaking at the full council meeting where he resignedCoun Anwar speaking at the full council meeting where he resigned
Coun Anwar speaking at the full council meeting where he resigned

The councillor also said he was at “total odds” with the current direction of the party, particularly Keir Starmer’s position on Palestine.

The resignations meant that each councillor automatically became an Independent member of the council. In a recent development, the four councillors have come together to form the Kirklees Community Independents Group.

Coun Anwar said: “The Kirklees Community Independents Group stands for community, passion, diversity, and empowerment. These are our core values and principles that we believe in.

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“In this, we will thrive to serve the people of Kirklees under the leadership of Jo Lawson, myself as the group business manager, the expertise that Imran Safdar has in his social experience, alongside Ebrahim Dockrat who has a wealth of experience of socio-economic development both locally and nationally. We will collectively work for a greater Kirklees.”