Bolton Council's leadership came together at the town hall to call for an end to the conflict in the Middle East yesterday (November 14).

Now in its sixth week, the conflict started with an attack by Hamas, a militant organisation declared a terrorist organisation in the UK.

The response was an attack by Israel on Gaza, where the militant organisation is in power, and it stopped supplies to the region allowing a trickle of aid over the border from Egypt.

It is thought there are more than 1,200 deaths in Israel and more than 10,000 deaths in Gaza to date.

Yesterday (November 14) the leadership of Bolton Council, including its chief executive Sue Johnson, its mayor Mohammed Ayub and all of the political leaders came together at the town hall to call for an end to the conflict in the Middle East.

The Bolton News: The Bolton Council chief executive Sue Johnson and Mayor of Bolton Mohammed Ayub

At a vigil in the Mayor's Parlour, Ms Johnson said: "As the chief executive of Bolton Council I wanted to reflect with our political leaders our deepest wish for peace and a swift end to the hostility we are witnessing in the Middle East.

"We recognise very clearly that the Bolton Family that we serve are affected by the events that are brought daily to our attention.

"In the last few days we have been reflecting on the impact of war on our own borough in our remembrance programme and this brings into sharp view the human cost of conflict.

"In Bolton we have a strong tradition of communities standing side by side and supporting each other no matter the issues we face.

"We are reaffirming this commitment today and I now invite each of the political leaders to light a candle as a gesture of our commitment to peace and cohesive community both here and internationally."

The Bolton News: The Mayor of Bolton Mohammed Ayub

The Mayor and Ms Johnson were the first to light a candle. They were followed by Nick Peel, the leader of the council; Hilary Fairclough, the deputy leader of the opposition; Roger Hayes, the leader of the Liberal Democrats; David Grant, the leader of Horwich and Blackrod First; and Paul Sanders, the leader of Farnworth and Kearsley First.

The vigil in the Mayor's Parlour ended with a minute's silence.

This article was written by Jack Tooth. To contact him, email or follow @JTRTooth on Twitter.