The need for a ceasefire 

On Wednesday, the House of Commons unanimously passed a motion supporting an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, as amended by Labour.

From the impending ground offensive in Rafah which risks an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe and the lack of food, water and medicines in Gaza, to the surge in settler violence and expansion in the West Bank – the situation in Gaza could not be more catastrophic.  

It is clear we need an immediate, long-lasting ceasefire in Gaza, to hold the Israeli Government accountable for war crimes at the ICJ, an end to settler expansion, the recognition of the sovereign state of Palestine alongside Israel, and an international commitment to support a political process towards a two-state solution.   

I am disappointed by the political games played by the Tory Government and SNP, leading to no vote. It is also deeply concerning that the Tory Government has confirmed that, despite the House of Commons unanimously supporting an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, they will ignore this vote and will not change UK Government foreign policy to reflect this. Nevertheless, I will continue to support all parliamentary initiatives urging an end to the violence.   

In November 2023, I stood down from the Labour frontbench to vote in favour of a motion in support of a ceasefire. I will continue to support all parliamentary initiatives urging an end to the violence. We need an immediate ceasefire now. 

Since October, I have been working tirelessly to pressure the Conservative Government to address the humanitarian crisis and to support calls for a ceasefire. Recently, I presented a petition to Parliament urging the Government to use its position as a global power to urge the Israeli Government and Hamas to stop this horrible ordeal, call for an immediate and sustainable ceasefire, and work towards a two-state solution. You can read more about this here.   

UK arms sales to Israel 

Following the interim ruling at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in which Israel was ordered to prevent genocidal acts in Gaza, I believe the UK has a clear obligation to suspend arms sales to Israel. Under international and domestic law, the UK is required to prevent the transfer of military equipment where this may be used to violate human rights or international humanitarian law.  

I have recently signed an EDM on ICJ’s ruling which you can see here 

I will continue to follow the case against Israel at the ICJ closely, and continue calling for the suspension of arms sales to Israel.  

Humanitarian aid in Gaza 

What we are seeing in Gaza is nothing short of a humanitarian crisis, and the Government needs to consider the potential implications of its decision to suspend future funding for UNRWA, the main aid distributing body in Gaza. Without sufficiently funding UNRWA, Gazans will be subject to even more unimaginable suffering.  

I have raised questions with the Foreign Office about the Government’s decision to not renew UNRWA funding, the implications of this on humanitarian relief efforts in Gaza, and what alternative organisations the Government is looking at funding in the meantime. You can read my questions and the written responses from the Foreign Minister here. As Labour’s Shadow International Development Secretary, Lisa Nandy MP, said in Parliament, the Government must move heaven and earth to get aid into Gaza. 

I am an ardent supporter of Palestinian rights and an advocate for a viable two-state solution, and I have been vocal about this for the past 30 years. The UK has a moral obligation to promote human rights at home and internationally as well as call out breaches of these rights. A diplomatic solution is the only way forward and this must be accompanied by the immediate and safe release of the hostages as well as the immediate delivery of humanitarian aid. 

You can also view the other action I have taken and follow my ongoing work in the Commons on this issue by visiting my website here  

I will continue to do everything in my powers to make a meaningful difference by advocating for an immediate ceasefire and a long-lasting, peaceful two-state solution in the region. 

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