High profile Birmingham politician Salma Yaqoob was urged to continue her career by rival parties, following her resignation from anti-war party Respect.
The Green Party praised her “clarity and vision” and one Labour MP suggested she could be “an asset” for his party.
The comments suggest Ms Yaqoob the former councillor for Birmingham Sparkbrook, could find a home elsewhere after quitting Respect in a row over Respect MP George Galloway’s comments about rape.
She had led the left-wing party since 2005 and became one of the city’s most high profile politicians, regularly making television appearances, as well as one of the nation’s most visible Muslim politicians.
The resignation comes three weeks after she publicly criticised controversial comments made by Mr Galloway, Respect’s only MP.
Explaining the decision, she said in a statement posted on her website: “I feel necessary relations of trust and collaborative working have unfortunately broken down.”
Her resignation prompted immediate words of support from Green Party MP Caroline Lucas, who stated on Twitter: “Really hope Salma Yaqoob’s resignation from Respect doesn’t mean she’s leaving politics - we need her clarity and vision.” It follows Ms Yaqoob’s support for the Greens in local elections this year, when she urged Respect supporters in Birmingham to vote for them.
Backing the Greens in the run up to May’s elections, Ms Yaqoob said: “The Green Party has been consistent in its opposition to the breakup of the NHS, have championed the call to create new sustainable jobs with a living wage, and campaign to protect our valuable green spaces.”
Meanwhile, Birmingham Labour MP Richard Burden (Lab Northfield) said Ms Yaqoob could possibly have a future as a Labour politician.
He said: “If right for her and us and differences resolved, Salma Yaqoob would be asset.” However, he said membership of the party was “not key”, adding: “People can work together anyway.”
Mr Galloway was widely criticised after he spoke out in defence of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who is wanted for trial in Sweden over allegations of rape and sexual assault, which he denies.
The MP said Mr Assange was guilty merely of “bad sexual etiquette” even if the claims against him were “100 per cent true”, prompting a crisis within the party.
Respect candidate Kate Hudson, due to stand in the upcoming Manchester Central by-election, left the party in protest at the comments, while Ms Yaqoob issued a statement calling them “wrong and deeply disappointing”.
In her resignation statement, Ms Yaqoob said: “It is with deep regret that I have decided to resign from Respect. The last few weeks have been extremely difficult for everyone in the party. I feel necessary relations of trust and collaborative working have unfortunately broken down. I have no wish to prolong those difficulties, and indeed hope that they may now be drawn to a close.
“I remain committed to the principles and values that led me to help found Respect. The policies we have fought for need to be voiced as loud as ever in opposition to a political establishment that remains out of touch with working people.
“I would like to thank everyone in the party for their support over the years; I wish everyone the very best for the future and in those common struggles for peace, justice and equality that I am sure we will all continue to be involved in.”
Ms Yaqoob served as a Respect councillor on Birmingham City Council from 2006-11 and fought the Birmingham Hall Green constituency for the party in 2010, securing second place.
Respect was founded in 2004 as a left-wing alternative to the major parties following the invasion of Iraq. Leading members included members of the Stop the War Coalition such as Ms Yaqoob, and members of the Trotskyite Socialist Workers Party.
Mr Galloway, also heavily involved in the Stop the War Coalition, joined after he was expelled from the Labour Party. The party split when the Socialist Worker faction walked out in 2007. For a short period there were two “Respect” parties, but the party led by Ms Yaqoob, involving Mr Galloway as a high-profile member, was the only one to remain active.
Chris Chilvers, Respect National Secretary, said: “While we are obviously very sorry that Salma has decided to leave Respect, we would like to thank her for the great contribution she has made to Respect.”