Home Featured Labour frontbencher quits in protest at Keir Starmer’s position on Gaza cease-fire
Labour frontbencher quits in protest at Keir Starmer’s position on Gaza cease-fire

Labour frontbencher quits in protest at Keir Starmer’s position on Gaza cease-fire

by host

LONDON — A Labour frontbencher quit his post Tuesday night over U.K. opposition Leader Keir Starmer’s refusal to call for a cease-fire in the war between Hamas and Israel.

Shadow Work Minister Imran Hussain sent a letter of resignation to Starmer saying it had “become clear that my view on the ongoing humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza differs substantially from the position you have adopted.”

Starmer has aligned Labour with the U.K. government, United States and European Union in calling instead for humanitarian “pauses” in the fighting, but he is under mounting pressure from some parts of his party to go further.

Hussain, the MP for Bradford East since 2015, said he wished to be “a strong advocate for the humanitarian cease-fire,” adding: “It is clear that I cannot sufficiently, in all good conscience, do this from the front-bench given its current position.”

While Hussain stressed that he “unequivocally condemned” Hamas’ 7 October attack on Israel, he argued that the right to self defense should “never become a right to deliberately violate international law on protecting civilians or to commit war crimes.”

Responding to Hussain’s exit, a Labour Party spokesperson said the party “fully understands calls for a cease-fire.” But they argued that a cease-fire at this point “will only freeze this conflict and would leave hostages in Gaza and Hamas with the infrastructure and capability to carry out the sort of attack we saw on October the 7th.”

More than 60 Labour MPs have so far broken ranks to call for a cease-fire, including a handful of frontbenchers. Left-wing Labour MPs have also tabled an amendment to the King’s Speech — the government’s legislative program — calling for a cease-fire, in an attempt to force a vote on the floor of the Commons. 

Some MPs have meanwhile put forward an early day motion — a largely symbolic move which can, however, signal strength of feeling on an issue — calling for a cease-fire, with Hussain and former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn among the signatories.

Source link

You may also like