A GROUP of senior Islamic clerics and scholars today urged Muslim voters to back Labour at the May 5 General Election - despite their anger with the Government over the Iraq war.
The group described itself as consisting of some of the leading scholars and spiritual figures in the British Muslim community.
It said that its disenchantment over the Iraq conflict had to be balanced against the New Labour government's achievements in social policy.
Labour strategists are concerned that Muslim voters' anger over the war might be a critical factor in some marginal seats at the polls.
But in an open letter in a newspaper, the community leaders stated: "We were opposed to the Government's military intervention in Iraq. We know that a large number of people demonstrated against the war and continue to be very angry.
"We continue to urge the Government to outline an exit strategy that will be both swift and responsible under the circumstances for the people that have been affected by the war."