SNP welcomes Labour call for ‘immediate humanitarian ceasefire’ in Gaza, claiming it forced Starmer into U-turn – UK politics live

SNP welcomes Labour call for ‘immediate humanitarian ceasefire’ in Gaza, claiming it forced Starmer into U-turn – UK politics live

Under pressure from the SNP, Keir Starmer has changed his stance.

He is proposing that Labour frontbenchers who were dismissed or forced to resign for supporting an SNP ceasefire amendment in November should be reinstated.

Below is the complete statement from Flynn.

I am glad that Sir Keir Starmer has finally changed his stance and is now backing the SNP’s push for an urgent halt to the violence in Gaza.

But the reality is that Sir Keir was pressured into this position by the public and specifically the SNP.

The fact that the SNP had to step in and provide a sense of strength for the Labour party and serve as a moral compass for Westminster in this dispute is significant.

People may wonder why it has taken Sir Keir a significant amount of time to change his stance, what the purpose of his prolonged indecisiveness was, and if he will bring back the Members of Parliament he dismissed in November for advocating for the same viewpoint he now supports.

The Labour party leader will need to address these questions – I am relieved that he has ultimately altered his stance.

The shift in stance demonstrates the potential of Scotland with a united group of SNP MPs pushing the Labour party to align with our principles.

After being rejected by Westminster in November, over 29,000 Palestinian civilians, including children and women, have lost their lives. It is crucial for MPs to not repeat this mistake.

All attention is now directed towards Rishi Sunak. Previously, both he and Sir Keir Starmer held the same position – I am hopeful that he will now seize the chance to change his stance as well.

I implore Rishi Sunak and the government of the UK to align with the majority of the global community and support an instant cessation of hostilities. Following this, it is crucial that the UK government takes action by exerting strong diplomatic pressure.

The government has not yet disclosed the stance it will ask its MPs to adopt in tomorrow’s vote. However, the wording used by Labour does not oppose the statements made by Rishi Sunak and David Cameron regarding their opinions on a ceasefire in Gaza.

Stephen Flynn.

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At 3:27 PM, it appears that they intend to support the Labour amendment; however, the party has not explicitly stated this. My colleague Libby Brooks, who has been seeking clarification on this matter, has shared this information with me.

Stephen Flynn expressed appreciation for Starmer’s apparent endorsement of their stance, calling it a much-needed reversal. However, the SNP cannot confirm whether they will accept the Labour amendment due to being engrossed in the intricacies of Commons protocol. This is because they have not yet been presented with the exact wording of the amendment, and are unsure if it will be considered by the speaker and how it will impact other amendments, such as those proposed by the government.

The circumstances are slightly more intricate than usual as it is an opposition day debate tomorrow. This type of debate involves a motion chosen by an opposition party, specifically the SNP in this instance, and the regulations for when amendments are addressed differ during these events.

Usually, Members of Parliament vote on the amendment to the motion before voting on the main motion (or the main motion with any approved amendments) at a later time.

The main motion put forth by the SNP will be addressed tomorrow. In the event that the government proposes an amendment, it will be considered after the vote on the main motion. This rule is in place to guarantee that opposing parties have the opportunity to vote on a motion they have presented.

However, if a different opposition party proposes an amendment, it will be considered before the vote on the main motion.

A potential scenario for tomorrow is that the Labour amendment will be voted on before anything else, it will be approved, and it will then be considered as the motion passed by the entire house. (Tory MPs may not oppose it because it closely aligns with the stance expressed by David Cameron, the Foreign Secretary.)

As of now, it is uncertain if the speaker will follow through with the Labour amendment.

It is currently uncertain if the government will propose their own amendment. ITV’s Robert Peston has reported that if they do, the Labour amendment will not be considered.

Tomorrow, the SNP will have a full day allotted to them. However, they have chosen to split it into two half-day debates rather than one full-day one. The first debate on Gaza is scheduled to take place at 4pm, followed by a vote or possibly multiple votes.

The second motion is one saying the government should invest £28bn a year on a green energy investment programme. This has clearly been tabled to embarrass Labour, which has just dropped its commitment to spending £28bn a year on green measures.

The Gaza proposal was also partly aimed at creating problems for Labour, although the SNP’s dedication to a prompt halt in fighting is certainly sincere.

Under pressure from the SNP, Keir Starmer has reversed his stance.

He is proposing that Labour frontbenchers who were fired or forced to resign for voting in favor of an SNP ceasefire amendment in November should be reinstated in their positions.

This is Flynn’s complete statement.

I am pleased to see that Sir Keir Starmer has finally made a U-turn and is now showing support for the SNP’s request for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

The reality is that Sir Keir was compelled to take on this role due to public pressure, specifically from the SNP.

It is notable that it was the SNP who provided a strong foundation for the Labour party and served as a moral compass for Westminster during this conflict.

There may be inquiries as to the reason for Sir Keir’s delayed change of stance, the purpose of his prolonged indecision, and whether he will restore the dismissed MPs who backed his current viewpoint.

The Labour party leader will need to address these questions – I’m glad that he has ultimately decided to modify his stance.

The shift in stance demonstrates Scotland’s potential under a powerful group of SNP MPs, who have pushed the Labour party to align with our principles.

After Westminster’s refusal to agree to a ceasefire in November, over 29,000 Palestinian individuals, including children and women, have lost their lives. It is imperative that MPs do not repeat this mistake.

The attention has shifted to Rishi Sunak. Both he and Sir Keir Starmer previously held the same stance, but I hope he will now reconsider and change his position.

I implore Rishi Sunak and the UK government to align themselves with the vast majority of the global community and support an immediate ceasefire. Afterwards, it is crucial for the UK government to take action by exerting maximum diplomatic pressure.

The government has not yet disclosed the stance that will be expected of its Members of Parliament in tomorrow’s vote. However, the language used by Labour does not conflict with the statements made by Rishi Sunak and David Cameron regarding their opinions on a ceasefire in Gaza.

According to PA Media, the Ukraine family scheme will be terminated. PA states:

In a statement to the Commons, Tom Pursglove assured that the UK will continue to provide refuge to Ukrainians, and dismissed any claims suggesting otherwise as intentional fear-mongering.

Members of Parliament (MPs) have expressed disapproval towards the decision made by the Home Office, stating it is “especially heartless” to announce the termination of the program near the two-year mark of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion.

The announcement of changes to immigration rules, detailed in a policy document, included the closure of the Ukraine family scheme. This scheme previously permitted applicants to reunite with family members or extend their stay in the UK.

The paperwork also verified the existence of a program for extending visas, allowing Ukrainian citizens and their immediate family members to request permission to stay in the country. This program will end on May 16th.

In a Commons urgent inquiry, Pursglove informed fellow MPs that there will still be a chance for individuals to apply for visa extensions within the country. Under the homes for Ukraine program, Ukrainians will still have the opportunity to come to the UK and receive the protection and support that we should take pride in offering. Any claims that this may change in the future are false and intentionally causing fear, and should be disregarded.

When questioned about the accuracy of reports stating that the family program would be discontinued, Pursglove stated that there will still be an option for individuals to apply for the out-of-country route under the homes for Ukraine scheme, as well as an extension for those with existing visas.

Barry Sheerman, a Member of Parliament, expressed surprise that the UK government would announce restrictions on Ukrainian families immigrating to the country during the same week that Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was allegedly murdered by President Vladimir Putin and while Ukraine is facing challenges against Russian forces.

Pursglove responded by stating that Ukrainian individuals currently residing here will still have access to a safe haven in the future.

Andrew Bailey, the governor of the Bank of England, stated during his testimony to the Commons Treasury committee this morning that the economy is expected to rebound from its slight downturn and will see an increase once interest rates begin to decrease later this year. Read more about this development in Larry Elliott’s article.


Murray informs Flynn about Labour’s amendment in a concise manner, using language that could be considered somewhat brief.

I understand the SNP’s decision to solely target the Labour party in your motion and debate, but it is important for those proposing the motion to garner support from all members of the house. When it comes to such significant matters, we must work towards speaking with a united voice in the House of Commons.

With this mindset, we have proposed an amendment to your motion that calls for an urgent ceasefire to address humanitarian concerns. However, this amendment expands on the SNP motion by presenting a more comprehensive stance and providing a strategy for achieving the desired peace.

Murray stresses the importance of having a “credible plan” for peace and urges Flynn to sincerely consider the “comprehensive and fair amendment” before tomorrow’s debate, so that the focus can shift to uniting the house with one cohesive message.

Below is the written message from Murray.

The scandal involving the Post Office Horizon system.

During an interview with BBC’s Farming Today, he was questioned about the statement made by former Post Office chair Henry Staunton, where he claimed that a senior government official had requested him to delay compensation payments.

As the BBC reports, Sunak did not answer this directly. But he replied:

Kemi delivered a comprehensive statement about this issue during the parliamentary session. It was appropriate for her to do so and I believe she provided a thorough explanation of all that has transpired.

During the Commons meeting yesterday, Badenoch stated that while she could not definitively disprove the conversation described by Staunton, she was confident in saying it did not occur. She clarified:

The opposition spokesperson inquired if I could definitively declare that there was no directive to delay payments. I confirm that there is no proof that any official made such a statement. If there was, it is the responsibility of Mr. Staunton to provide evidence. It is difficult to disprove something that did not occur. Those who make unfounded accusations and then request evidence to disprove them are causing trouble, in my opinion. From what I have observed, all evidence supports the fact that no one issued that instruction.

Sunak praised Badenoch’s performance as “fulsome”, using the word in a positive manner to convey fullness or thoroughness rather than its negative connotation of being excessive or insincere. However, this use of language would not be approved at the Guardian, as their style guide emphasizes the importance of precision. Under the section for “fulsome”, the guide states the following.

Not a fancy word for full, it indicates cloying, lavish excess, as in this eloquent description in the London Review of Books, by Rosemary Hill, of books about Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother: “His biography was pious to a degree and, like his equally fulsome edition of her letters, much too long.”

This overused term is commonly used in the expression “excessive praise”, which should not be interpreted as a positive statement.

The individual went against the Labour party’s instructions and voted in favor of an SNP proposal for a ceasefire in Gaza in November. During an interview on World at One, he expressed his satisfaction with his party’s stance and hoped that they would all come together in support of the official amendment presented today.

The revision states that it is crucial for us to strive for a resolution with two separate states, which Netanyahu has refused to support.

There is a significant obstacle present. We affirm that the Palestinians possess an inherent right to establish their own state, which cannot be granted by anyone else.

This is a very resolute and forceful declaration that I believe the party will fully support. I believe that a large number of individuals will view this as a strong pledge from the Labour party.

At 12:38pm, he spoke on Radio 4’s the World at One program and stated:

We have proposed a resolution for an urgent humanitarian pause. This is necessary due to the current deplorable conditions in Gaza, where there has been a significant loss of life and many people are at risk of starvation. We firmly believe that the planned Rafah offensive must not proceed. This motion is thorough and I hope that all members of the house can support it.

The IEP has made the decision to deny his appeal for a 35-day suspension from the Commons. In his statement, he does not acknowledge Labour’s demand for his immediate resignation (refer to 11.27am), implying that he will not step down. Instead, he defends his performance as a Member of Parliament. He states:

Since my election in 2019, I have successfully secured over £400 million in additional funding from the government for various projects in Blackpool, which is among the highest amounts received nationwide. This funding has been utilized for a range of initiatives, including vital regeneration efforts, enhancements to the A&E Department at Blackpool Victoria, and increased investment in our children’s education. Additionally, I recently implemented a new legislation to bolster the protections and rights of workers in Blackpool who frequently work on flexible contracts.

During this ongoing process, I have consistently dedicated myself to serving my constituents. Most recently, I have filed a petition to revitalize Bond Street & Central Drive, advocated for the reinstatement of commercial flights at Blackpool Airport, and pushed for better GP and dentistry options in the local area. My track record of productivity, both in Blackpool and in Westminster, where I am one of the most active members of parliament, speaks for itself.

However, most of the statement simply reiterates the argument he presented in his appeal, claiming that the initial investigation was flawed in its procedures. He specifically highlights the fact that he was contacted by Aubrey Allegretti, a journalist for The Times, the day before the standards committee released their report on him. Allegretti was aware of the impending report and appeared to know that it would suggest suspension. Benton states:

Although it was not supposed to be disclosed, a journalist contacted me the night before the decision was made by the standards committee in December and revealed that they knew the outcome through sources related to the committee. I have a recording of this conversation, along with other evidence of leaks, but the appeal panel and standards committee refuse to acknowledge their existence.

The standards process is intended to be transparent and unbiased, ensuring trust from the public and MPs. However, recent events have shown that some committee members and/or administrative staff have breached this trust, creating a perception of bias.

According to the IEP’s report released today, they do not believe that the original standards committee report was leaked beforehand. They clarify that while Allegretti did mention on X that the report was set to be published the next day (which is not typically disclosed in advance by the committee), no information about the report’s contents was revealed before its official publication.

At 12:38 PM, Flynn continues in his correspondence.

I believe we can all agree that this is a crucial vote for any Member of Parliament. Therefore, I urge each and every one of you to vote according to your conscience for an immediate ceasefire. I hope that Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer will find the bravery to change their stance and do what is morally right. If they do not, it is up to us, MPs from all parties, to demonstrate that we demand a ceasefire at this moment.

The only way to effectively communicate with Prime Minister Netanyahu and his government is through a clear and direct statement, showing our strong determination. We can use this as leverage to urge for a ceasefire, which is supported by the majority of the international community. This will create an opportunity for diplomatic action to end the senseless killing of innocent civilians and children.

The sole solution to prevent the impending attack on Rafah, secure the unconditional release of all hostages held by Hamas, provide essential aid to Gaza, and ultimately halt the collective punishment of the Palestinian people is through diplomatic action to demand a ceasefire.

The SNP motion calls for a prompt ceasefire without the same stipulations as the ceasefire desired by Labour.


The Labour party is currently determining its stance on the SNP’s proposal for a ceasefire.

I have been informed that an announcement is expected after the shadow cabinet meeting, around noon, regarding the party’s response.

The Labour party was hesitant to make a decision on how to vote until today, as they were worried that the SNP could alter the language and pressure Labour into either sticking with their original stance or changing it.

I have been informed by shadow ministers that they may have difficulty abstaining from the motion. They are urging Starmer’s team to support a motion that calls for an “immediate ceasefire” in Gaza rather than a “permanent ceasefire”.

At the recent PLP meeting, David Lammy assured his colleagues that he was open to hearing their thoughts and acknowledged the widespread emotions within the party.

Unfortunately, my coworker John Crace was not satisfied with Rishi Sunak’s address to the NFU, which may not come as a shock.

During the NFU conference, Rishi Sunak discussed the government’s ongoing efforts to decrease trade barriers between the UK and the EU.

When questioned about the obstacles that farmers face when conducting trade with EU nations, Sunak stated that the government is taking actions to address them.

We are putting in a lot of effort to collaborate with specific nations in order to alleviate any conflicts or discrepancies in various areas.

To be completely truthful, it’s still a work in progress. However, we are making advances.

According to PA Media, Sunak stated that government officials are currently discussing electronic authorizations with the EU.

An urgent inquiry will take place in the House of Commons at 12:30pm regarding the government’s choice to terminate the family program for Ukrainian refugees. Yvette Cooper, the opposition’s spokesperson for home affairs, has submitted the inquiry and a representative from the Home Office will respond. Ben Quinn and Rajeev Syal have reported on the decision, which was announced yesterday.

The Labour party has been getting ready for the byelection in Blackpool South since before the holiday season. They have chosen a candidate, Chris Webb, who was previously employed at the office of the late MP Tony Lloyd in Rochdale.

The timing of the byelection hinges on Scott Benton’s decision to resign or not. If he refuses to step down, the Labour party will initiate a recall petition, requiring signatures from at least 10% of the local voters within six weeks. Once the 10% threshold is met, the petition officer will notify the speaker of the House of Commons. This will result in the seat being declared vacant and a byelection being scheduled.

According to a source involved in the local campaign, if Scott does not step down and a recall is initiated, it will coincide with the day of the local election. However, if he does resign, there is uncertainty about the outcome.

The recent Deltapoll survey results, which were released last night, may not offer much reassurance to Conservatives, as they show Keir Starmer’s lead over Rishi Sunak on the leadership approval index is currently the largest it has ever been.

The Labour party is calling for the immediate resignation of Scott Benton, in order to hold a byelection instead of waiting for the recall petition process to finish. Benton may face suspension from the Commons in a matter of days, followed by the opening of a recall petition. However, the petition will remain active for six weeks and a byelection cannot be scheduled until it closes and at least 10% of constituents have signed it.

Shadow Cabinet Office Minister Jonathan Ashworth stated:

It is recommended that Scott Benton resigns in a respectful manner to avoid the people of Blackpool South having to go through a lengthy recall petition, which would result in them being without proper representation.

This is another special election resulting from a scandal involving the Conservative party. The UK deserves more than this cycle of chaos caused by the Conservatives.

Chris Webb, a native of Blackpool, is committed to bringing a new beginning to Blackpool South.