The Labour leader has faced a backlash over his alleged position on Israel and the Gaza Strip and will meet with Muslim MPs.
Sir Keir Starmer suggested in an interview with LBC that Israel has the “right” to cut off power and water in the Gaza Strip which is home to 2.3 million Gazans.
He acknowledged his remarks has caused “distress” and he is trying to clarify his position over the Palestinian militant group Hamas after they murdered more than 1,400 innocent Israeli civilians on 7 October.
His comments has sparked mass resignations from councillors and he is to meet with Muslim MPs later on Wednesday, but there has been calls to also meet with a wider range of MPs.
The shadow chief secretary to the Treasury told Times Radio: “It is perfectly normal for MPs, we all represent different constituencies around the country, to want to speak to the leader of our party.
“I’m sure it is the same in other political parties where there are issues that constituents are raising with us.
“And the meeting this afternoon is another example of that.
“And understandably, this is a very sensitive and emotive issue, both for people who have connections and relatives to the Palestinian people as well as the Israeli people, and it is perfectly normal for Keir to sit down and listen to colleagues in the parliamentary party and indeed our councillors and other members from across the country.”
On 11 October the Labour leader was asked on LBC is cutting off power and water was an appropriate response from the Israeli military, Sir Keir said, “I think that Israel does have that right.
“It is an ongoing situation.
“Obviously everything should be done within international law, but I don’t want to step away from the core principles that Israel has a right to defend herself and Hamas bears responsibility for the terrorist acts.”
The South Wales Islamic Centre has accused the Labour leader of having “gravely misrepresented” the meeting with Muslim leaders last weekend.
Sir Keir said he was “questioned by members” and he made it “clear it is not and has never been my view that Israel had the right to cut off water, food, fuel or medicines. International law must be followed.”
“We wish to stress Keir Starmer’s social media post and images gravely misrepresented our congregants and the nature of the visit,” a statement said.
“There was a robust and frank conversation which reflected the sentiments Muslim communities are feeling at this time.
“Members of the community directly challenged Keir on his statements made on the Israeli Government’s right to cut food, electricity and water to Gaza, warranting war crimes as well as his failure to call for an immediate ceasefire.”
He later told broadcasters: “I know that LBC clip has been widely shared and caused real concern and distress in some Muslim communities, so let me be clear about what I was saying and what I wasn’t saying.
“I was saying that Israel has the right to self-defence, and when I said that right I meant it was that right to self-defence.
“I was not saying that Israel had the right to cut off water, food, fuel or medicines.”