The position proposed by Starmer, which advocates for a diplomatic and political process to achieve a peaceful two-state solution between Israel and Palestine, was rejected by Labour MPs. The SNP motion, on the other hand, demanded an immediate ceasefire.
The uprising demonstrates how the conflicting opinions on the Israel-Hamas conflict could lead to the disintegration of the Labour party – an ongoing issue that Starmer will be challenged on as the nation prepares for upcoming elections within the next year.
The most prominent individual to depart from their position on the front line was Phillips. In a statement announcing their resignation, they stated: “In this instance, I must align my vote with the interests of my constituents, my rational thinking, and my emotions… I cannot see a path where the current military intervention serves any purpose other than jeopardizing the prospect of peace and safety for those in the region at present and in the future.”
The United Nations has urged a halt to hostilities, as the death toll in Gaza has risen to over 11,000 since Israel began its bombardment. This comes after Hamas carried out attacks on Israel on October 7, resulting in approximately 1,200 deaths and 240 people being held captive.
Following the vote, Starmer expressed his disappointment that some colleagues were not able to back the position tonight. However, he wanted to make it known where he stood and where he will continue to stand.
Just before the vote, three members of the Labour frontbench resigned because Starmer stated that anyone voting for the ceasefire amendment would be fired.
Outside of parliament, a significant protest advocating for a ceasefire chanted “shame on you” towards the MPs who refused to agree to an immediate end to the conflict.
On Wednesday night, the House of Commons voted against a motion for an urgent halt to the fighting in Gaza.
Keir Starmer, the leader of the Labour party, encountered a significant revolt against his decision not to support a ceasefire. A total of 56 Labour MPs and eight shadow frontbenchers went against Starmer’s stance.
Jess Phillips, a prominent member of Starmer’s team, was the first to step down, sparking potential division within the Labour party before the upcoming general election.
Demonstrators demanding an end to the Israel-Hamas conflict were removed from the viewing area of the House of Commons, while a sizable protest in support of Palestine took place outside of parliament, with individuals voicing their disapproval towards Members of Parliament.
The number of deaths in Gaza caused by Israeli bombardment has surpassed 11,180. The United Nations security council has approved a draft resolution urging for a temporary ceasefire and increased efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to the heavily damaged area.
This concludes my coverage of UK politics for Wednesday. Thank you for following along, I am Jem Bartholomew. Until next time!
The position of Starmer, which advocates for a peaceful two-state solution between Israel and Palestine through a credible diplomatic and political process, was rejected by Labour MPs. Instead, the SNP motion demanded an immediate ceasefire.
The uprising indicates the potential for Labour to be divided over differing perspectives on the Israel-Hamas conflict, which could ultimately tear the party apart. This will likely be a challenging issue for Starmer as the country prepares for a general election within the next year.
The most prominent individual to step down from the leading group was Phillips. In a statement announcing their resignation, Phillips stated, “I must side with my constituents, my rational thinking, and my emotions on this matter… I do not see any path where the ongoing military intervention does not jeopardize the possibility of peace and safety for those in the region at present and in the long term.”
The United Nations has urged for a stop in fighting as more than 11,000 individuals in Gaza have lost their lives due to Israel’s bombing, which started after the 7 October attacks by Hamas in Israel. These attacks resulted in approximately 1,200 fatalities and 240 individuals being held captive.
Following the vote, Starmer expressed regret that some of his colleagues were unable to support the position, but he wanted to make his stance clear and remain consistent.
Before the vote, three Labour frontbenchers stepped down following Starmer’s declaration that those who voted in favor of the ceasefire amendment would be dismissed.
Outside parliament gates, a sizable protest in favor of a ceasefire chanted “shame on you” at members of parliament who declined to halt the fighting immediately.
125 ayes, 294 noes.
It is not surprising that the Conservatives have won, as they hold the majority in the House of Commons. However, information on which Labour MPs went against Starmer’s stance will be revealed shortly. It appears that more than 50 Labour MPs went against Starmer’s position.
The list of Members of Parliament who have voted will be released shortly…
Motion in the House of Commons urging for an urgent cessation of hostilities in Gaza.
In the past few minutes, Afzal Khan has stepped down from his role as shadow minister for exports, Paula Barker has resigned from her position as shadow minister for devolution and the English regions, and Yasmin Qureshi has left her post as shadow women and equalities minister.
“I acknowledge that you do not believe a ceasefire is the appropriate action at this time. Due to our conflicting views on this matter, I do not believe I can continue as a shadow minister,” stated Khan in a post on X/Twitter.
They were at risk of losing their positions from the Labour leader, Keir Starmer, if they supported an SNP proposal during the king’s speech that called for a ceasefire. This is something that Labour does not support.
“The scale of bloodshed in Gaza is unprecedented. Tonight, I will vote for an immediate ceasefire,” Qureshi said. “We must call for an end to the carnage to protect innocents lives and end human suffering.
More to come.
While the voting is taking place, there is a protest outside of parliament where people are demanding an immediate end to the fighting in Gaza.
These images were shared on X/Twitter by the Stop the War Coalition.
The individual passed away in the House of Commons, most likely due to inadequate access to nutrition and medical care rather than from a bomb.
The health ministry in the blockaded territory of northern Gaza reported on Monday that all hospitals are currently unable to operate due to lack of fuel and ongoing battles.
The members of Parliament stated in the House of Commons that they plan to vote for a prompt cessation of hostilities. It is anticipated that many backbenchers will also support this decision.
Shah explained that although there may be risks to our individual positions, it is important for us to do what is morally correct.
During the evening news segment, Jonathan Reynolds, the shadow business secretary for Labour, appeared on the Andrew Marr show to explain and defend Starmer’s decision not to support the amendment.
Reynolds stated that the vote is not free and there is a shared obligation. She also mentioned that the issue is not necessarily about individuals being fired, but rather the potential loss of their jobs. If a parliamentarian has decided they cannot participate in the collective decision, they would not be on the frontbench.
The Home Office has already paid £140 million and officials admitted that they may have to pay even more money to Rwanda, according to LBC political editor Natasha Clark on the Andrew Marr show.
Clark asks, “How much extra will we have to compensate them for a contract that may not result in any flights before the election?”
seek an EU-wide returns agreement for asylum seekers who come to Britain.
I, Jem Bartholomew, will be managing the blog for the next few hours. Please feel free to contact me through email or X/Twitter with any tips or stories.
The majority of people in Rwanda disagree with the current policy. A smaller percentage suggest finding a different country to relocate to, while a minority have other ideas. The remaining group is unsure.
I am finished for the evening. My coworker, Jem Bartholomew, will now be in charge.
What did Rishi Sunak have to say?
Adam Payne, a journalist from Politics Home, has also received similar information.
The House of Commons was much more forceful compared to James Cleverly, the newly appointed home secretary of the Conservative Party. It is likely that Conservative Members of Parliament who observed it were impressed.
However, Sunak’s success can be attributed, in part, to his use of persuasive language. The more extreme members of Parliament have spent the day calling for “emergency legislation”, often in reference to a measure that would permit the UK to disregard the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights. (Refer to Suella Braverman’s statement at 4:27pm for an example.)
Sunak plans to provide “emergency legislation” for them. However, his approach differs from Braverman and other prominent Brexiters, as it does not involve the strict “notwithstanding” measure. Instead, it simply declares Rwanda as a safe country. Boris Johnson also supports this idea (refer to 4:07pm), and he believes that secondary legislation under schedule 3 of the Asylum and Immigration Act 2004 is sufficient.
Sunak should have come to the understanding that relying on a quick fix from Johnson to solve a complex issue usually leads to disappointment. This proposal may also fall into that pattern. Will the courts accept that Rwanda is safe simply because parliament says so?
Sunak stated with assurance: “I refuse to permit a court from another country to stop these flights.” However, his intentions were not entirely clear and in his last response (refer to 5.10pm) he hinted that, with the implementation of the new treaty and “emergency legislation,” there would be no necessity for withdrawing from the ECHR. It is improbable that Braverman will concur.
Sunak has essentially made a pledge that flights to Rwanda will commence in the spring. However, any deportations under the new treaty could face legal opposition, making it difficult to successfully execute even one flight before the end of May. It appears unlikely that a significant number of deportations will occur by then. This could be problematic for Sunak, as he may not be able to fulfill the expectations he has created.
Is the European Court of Human Rights preventing flights to Rwanda?
Sunak reports that he has already achieved advancement regarding rule 39 orders, which are temporary injunctions given by the European Court of Human Rights. (One such order was utilized to prevent the single flight scheduled to Rwanda.)
The UK has been engaging in discussions with the court regarding this matter, and on Monday, it revealed plans to modify them.
According to him, the judges who will issue these injunctions will be identified (currently they are not), nations will have the opportunity to present their objections to the injunctions, and the court will only utilize them in rare situations.
He expresses certainty that, once the treaty is implemented and his proposed law is enacted, the UK will fulfill its duties under the ECHR.
However, he affirms that he will not permit a foreign court to restrict flights to Rwanda after the parliament has legally declared it as a secure nation.
The press conference has concluded.