Two Labour councillors are calling for party leader Keir Starmer to back a ceasefire in Gaza.

Hackney Councillors Soraya Adejare and Humaira Garasia have signed a letter by the Labour Muslim Network urging Keir Starmer to support the end to hostilities in Gaza.

Garasia was Hackney’s youngest speaker when she served in the ceremonial role last year. She is a councillor for Haggerston ward.

The letter was signed by more than 150 Labour councillors, who said “children and hundreds of innocent men and women pay the price” until there is a ceasefire.

The councillors explained they have been contacted by constituents who are horrified by the death toll since the renewed conflict.

“People just want an end to the bloodshed and loss of innocent life,” the letter said.

The councillors also called for the release of Israeli hostages taken by Hamas in raids a month ago.

They said: “We are also clear that hostages held captive must also be returned to their families safely.”

Brownswood ward councillor Adejare posted on X, formerly Twitter, that: “I want to see the Israeli hostages released and #ceasefirenow implemented in Palestine. We cannot be bystanders to these atrocities.”

The 150 councillors, including 46 from London, urged Starmer and deputy leader Angela Rayner to back the move.

They said the aid that is getting through to Gaza is “a drop in the ocean” and urged the Labour party to add its voice to calls on government and the international community to press for an end to hostilities.

The Labour party and the two councillors have been contacted for comment.

Hackney Labour party declined to comment. A spokesman said the party locally was being careful about commenting on political matters because of the pre-election period ahead of Thursday’s mayoral by-election.

Starmer has come under pressure from his party to call for a ceasefire, rather than a pause in the conflict to allow humanitarian aid to get through and for civilians to leave.

Two other Hackney councillors Penny Wrout and Claudia Turbet-Delof  met with John McDonnell at Westminster to pass on their calls for a ceasefire to party bosses. The Victoria ward councillors were part of an interfaith delegation who had hoped to meet Starmer to share their concerns over the humanitarian crisis.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has also broken senior party ranks to back a ceasefire.