UK (Parliament Politics Maganize) – Today, all attention has been on the House of Commons as the Scottish National Party (SNP) strives to pass a motion for a vote, urging a ceasefire in Gaza amidst the escalating casualties of the Israel-Hamas conflict. On Tuesday, the SNP declared on its website, “It’s time to call a spade a spade. To any neutral observer, war crimes are being committed by Israel in Gaza. That is why the SNP will force a vote on a ceasefire this week in Westminster. Our first opportunity to do so.”
SNP’s Commitment to Voting for A Cease Fire
During the parliamentary session in the House of Commons on Wednesday, Alison Thewliss, the Scottish National Party MP representing Glasgow Central, affirmed the SNP’s commitment to voting for a ceasefire. She stated, “If we do not strive for peace, we condemn yet another generation in Palestine and in Israel to a cycle of violence, to death and destruction beyond our imagination.”
Thewliss emphasized the significance of the upcoming vote on the King’s Speech and amendments, acknowledging that while it may not bring an end to the 70-year-old conflict, it serves as a starting point for progress.
The matter was presented to Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the Speaker of the House of Commons, who holds the authority to determine the passage of motions. It has been confirmed that Members of Parliament will cast their votes on the SNP motion this evening after 7:00 PM GMT, following the conclusion of the debate on the King’s Speech.
Complicating matters, Labour Party leader Keir Starmer has chosen not to support a ceasefire, despite increasing pressure from fellow party members, including Anas Sarwar, the leader of the Labour Party in Scotland. In response to this, Scotland’s First Minister, Humza Yousaf, penned a letter to Sarwar, urging him to affirm that Scottish Labor’s Members of Parliament will vote in favor of the motion.
Labor Party Not to Support the Scottish National Party
Members of the Labour Party have received instructions not to support the Scottish National Party’s motion. There are reports suggesting that voting in favor of a Gaza ceasefire might lead to potential dismissal for disobeying the party leadership. Simultaneously, alongside the SNP’s motion, Keir Starmer is advocating for a Labour vote on the Gaza conflict to uphold party unity. The proposed amendment aims for an immediate humanitarian pause, emphasizing the significant civilian casualties, but falls short of explicitly calling for a ceasefire.
Approximately 70 Labour Party representatives in Parliament have taken a public stance in favor of a ceasefire, openly defying Keir Starmer. Additionally, nearly 50 councilors have resigned from the party in response to the internal discord.
The lack of unity within Labour has drawn criticism not only from the SNP but also from the leader of the Conservative Party. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, engaged in a heated debate with Starmer on Wednesday, remarked, “He can’t even make his party do the right thing when it comes to standing by Israel in the vote today.”
Since assuming leadership of the Labour Party, one of Keir Starmer’s key objectives has been to foster unity within the party and rebuild its relationship with the Jewish community. The Labour Party had faced accusations of anti-Semitism during the tenure of former leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Equality and Human Rights Commission
In 2020, the Equality and Human Rights Commission issued a report, determining that the Labour Party had violated the Equality Act by politically intervening in anti-Semitic complaints. The report highlighted 23 instances of “inappropriate involvement” from Jeremy Corbyn’s office. Starmer’s efforts have been directed at addressing and rectifying these issues to restore the party’s credibility and reputation.
The situation becomes more complex as Labour Party leader Keir Starmer continues to withhold support for a ceasefire, despite increasing pressure from fellow party members, including the leader of the Labour Party in Scotland, Anas Sarwar. In response to this, Scotland’s First Minister, Humza Yousaf, has written a letter to Sarwar, urging him to confirm that Scottish Labor’s Members of Parliament will vote in favor of the motion advocating for a ceasefire.
Labour party members have reportedly been directed not to support the Scottish National Party’s motion. There are indications that voting in favor of a Gaza ceasefire could lead to potential dismissal for disobeying party leadership.