Sajid Mehmood, a local community worker, and seven other former members of the Labour Party have torn up their party cards to join Respect in West Yorkshire.
Their central reason for doing so was the war in Iraq.
“I joined Labour in the belief that it was a democratic party that would reflect the needs of local people,” said Sajid. “But this has not happened.
“It is Labour’s foreign policy and its attacks on Muslims over issues like the niqab (veil) that have made me leave.
“I shall be building Respect as a party that will campaign to end this unjust war and which reaches out to all communities.”
Over 350 people came to a Respect meeting in Bradford on Monday of this week with Respect MP George Galloway.