In Parliament this evening (Wednesday 15th November) MPs voted 293 to 125, a majority 168, to reject the Scottish National Party’s (SNP) amendment to the King’s Speech, an amendment which called for an end to the ‘collective punishment of the Palestinian people’ and urged ‘all parties to agree to an immediate ceasefire’. Amongst the majority of MPs voting for the rejection of the amendment were Fylde MP Mark Menzies and Blackpool South MP Scott Benton.
The Middle East conflict has caused splits in the Labour Party, with the leadership backing the Conservative government’s position of pushing for “humanitarian pauses” in the Israel-Hamas conflict. In total, the division list showed that 56 Labour MPs backed the SNP’s call for an immediate ceasefire. Along with these 56 Labour MPs, the amendment was supported by 39 SNP MPs, 15 Liberal Democrats and independent MPs Jeremy Corbyn, Diane Abbott and Andy McDonald.
Labour, like the Conservative government, the United States and the European Union, is currently calling for ‘humanitarian pauses’ to help aid reach Gaza. Compared with a formal ceasefire, these pauses have tended to last for short periods of time, sometimes just a few hours. They are implemented with the aim of providing humanitarian support, as opposed to a formal ceasefire.
Tory MP Grant Shapps posted on X (formerly Twitter), ‘Voting for a ceasefire is essentially voting to give Hamas the green light to commit further terrorist atrocities. If Britain had been attacked on October 7, and we knew exactly where the murderers were, would any MP seriously be voting not to go after them? Israel must target Hamas proportionally & within international humanitarian law to protect civilians, de-escalate tensions in the West Bank & go ahead with meaningful humanitarian pauses to ensure aid is distributed.’
Taking an opposing view, Shadow Home Office Minister, Labour MP Jess Phillips announced she would be resigning from the frontbench after supporting a ceasefire. She wrote, ‘On this occasion I felt that I must vote with my constituents, my head, and my heart which has felt as if it were breaking over the last four weeks with the horror of the situation in Israel and Palestine.’