The Barrow and South Lakes Branch of the Communist Party has called on Labour to clarify its stance on the Israel and Palestine conflict.

The call comes as Sir Keir Starmer has been faced with a barrage of questions following an interview with LBC in which the Labour leader suggested that Israel has 'the right' to cut off power and water to Gaza.

He has since rowed back on his comments to say that Israel should only defend itself within international law.

The political party's position on the conflict has caused a deepening crisis within the Labour Party, with 23 councillors resigning already over the Labour leader's stance.

Some of its MPs, including frontbenchers, are also said to be calling for more clarity.

The Barrow and South Lakes Communists' branch has said it condemns all civilian deaths on both sides and calls for the occupation of Palestinian land to end. It also calls for all war crimes to be investigated and international law to be upheld.

A spokesperson said: "This week, Labour Party leader Keir Starmer reiterated his support for Israel's collective punishment of Gaza, alongside Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

"Other Labour politicians, including fellow human rights lawyer Emily Thornberry, have shown how little they care about the destruction of Gaza and the loss of innocent human life.

"Senior legal experts have now challenged Labour's weasel words about international law. A collective of law professors have written to Starmer for a detailed clarification of his position regarding the condoning of war crimes.

"This has rightfully led to a mass of resignations within the Labour Party of members and elected officials. However, once again, the local Labour Party in Barrow and Furness are silent in the face of war crimes and, we suspect, await their orders from high office.

"The South Lakes has welcomed many refugees into our towns in recent years from war torn countries. Sadly, we have also seen a rise in hatred towards these communities. 

"It is vital that we condemn war crimes and stand by Palestinians and others displaced and oppressed.

"Labour and Tory are once again failing on this issue."

Conservative MP for Barrow and Furness, Simon Fell, said: "We should call out the attacks on Israel for what they are: a brutal act of terrorism.

"Over 1,400 people were murdered, 3,500 were wounded, and 200 hundred were taken hostage by Hamas - a terror organisation that uses innocent people as human shields, and whose charter explicitly calls for the destruction of Israel and Jews.

"There can be no equivocation about this, and Israel is right to pursue Hamas, take back hostages, deter further incursions, and strengthen its security.

"Of course, this should be done in line with international law and it is crucial that we continue to work with international partners in the region to ensure that this conflict does not escalate and that aid can get to those civilians who Hamas uses to shield themselves.

"The Prime Minister is doing just this, working with Qatar and Egypt, and meeting with President Abbas in the last few days."

The Mail has approached Furness and South Lakes Labour for a response.