KEIR Starmer has said Labour members SHOULD be allowed to discuss the war between Israel and Hamas – despite party high command banning branches from talking about the issue.

The Labour leader is trying to quell discontent within his party, including among members of his shadow cabinet, over his stance on the conflict after he said he believed Israel had the "right" to cut off supplies to Gaza in response to attacks by Hamas.

His comments have drawn fierce criticism and prompted the resignations of some party members .

ITV reported Labour MPs had heard shadow cabinet ministers were considering resigning from the frontbench over Starmer's handling of the situation. 

Starmer has attempted to backtrack and met with Labour backbenchers and members of his shadow cabinet on Wednesday in an attempt to address concerns about his response to the crisis.

The leader of the opposition has now sparked confusion after contradicting Labour’s general secretary David Evans, who issued an order banning constituency Labour parties (CLPs) from discussing the matter.

READ MORE: Outrage as Keir Starmer fails to mention Gaza ONCE at PMQs

Asked whether the Labour leader believed party members should be able to discuss the issue, Starmer’s spokesperson said: “Yes.”

When pushed on whether he therefore disagreed with Evans’s Gaza gag order, the spokesperson denied knowledge of the directive.

As general secretary, Evans is responsible for the day-to-day running of the Labour Party. 

He said: “I must confess I’ve not seen that, if there was concerns about the way in which the debate is being had, but, I mean, as I say, this is clearly an issue that people have got strong views on and will want to have a discussion around.”

The spokesperson added: “These are not matters for Keir to rule on.”

Labour 'need to turn this around' 

One Labour member who resigned her CLP position over the ban has called on the party to clarify its stance.

Baroness Pauline Bryan, who served as the treasurer of Glasgow Kelvin CLP, told The National: “The last word was not to discuss it, so they would need to turn that around and explain that the position is different.”

MPs unhappy with Labour’s position on the conflict met with Starmer on Wednesday.

It came immediately after a session of Prime Minister’s Questions in which the Labour leader failed to mention Gaza and focused instead on criticising Rishi Sunak’s domestic record.

Starmer’s spokesperson denied the Labour leader was worried about the possibility he could lose votes over his handling of the party’s response to the conflict.

MPs who met with Starmer on Wednesday made no comment as they left the meeting.

Labour were approached for further comment.