LABOUR have conceded they have lost votes in Muslim communities during the English local elections over the party’s stance on Gaza.

Despite making gains across the board as the Tory vote plummets, the party lost control of councils which represent areas with high Muslim populations such as Oldham in Greater Manchester.

And it seems certain the party has failed to unseat West Midlands Mayor Andy Street because of a collapse in its Muslim support in parts of that region such as Birmingham.

Pat McFadden (below), one of Keir Starmer’s most senior lieutenants, admitted on Friday that the crisis in the Middle East had been an “issue” for the party, adding that with “so many innocent people being killed I'm not surprised people have strong feelings about that”.

The National: Pat McFadden

One Labour councillor who lost their seat in Oldham, where around 24% of people identified as Muslim in the last census, told the BBC: “The main reason for this is Gaza and anger that the Labour Party took too long to call for a ceasefire.”

READ MORE: John Curtice gives verdict on Labour's election results

Speaking to LBC, Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said: “We recognised that there are some challenges.

“We obviously realise there are issues, particularly what’s happening in the Middle East right now and that’s why we all want an immediate ceasefire, we all want the immediate release of hostages, we all want the immediate access to humanitarian aid and we all want a pathway to a two-state solution.”

Polling expert John Curtice, of Strathclyde University, said it appeared Labour’s vote had fallen in areas with large Muslim populations.

READ MORE: Scottish Labour MSPs believe UK bosses ordered Waspi vote abstention

He said: “There are though signs that Labour may have fallen back somewhat in places where many people identify as Muslim.

“This is most likely a reflection of their discontent with Labour’s stance on the war in Gaza.

“On average, the party’s support is down by eight points since last year in wards where more than 10% of people identify as Muslim.”