The UK Parliament has voted against a motion calling for an “immediate” ceasefire in Gaza, effectively giving Israel the green light to pursue its genocidal slaughter of Palestinians.
The Scottish National Party’s (SNP) amendment sought to call on the government to “join with the international community in urgently pressing all parties to agree to an immediate ceasefire.”
Some 125 MPs voted in favour of the motion and 293 voted against.
Muslim MPs who voted against a ceasefire were: Saqib Bhatti (Conservative) and Rehman Chishti (Conservative).
Rushanara Ali (Labour), Shabana Mahmood (Labour), Tulip Siddiq (Labour) and Nusrat Ghani (Conservative) did not record a vote.
Mahmood and Siddiq have not yet explained why they chose to abstain but Rushanara Ali released the following statement:
And the Muslim MPs who voted for a ceasefire were: Tahir Ali (Labour) Rosena Allin-Khan (Labour) Naz Shah (Labour) Yasmin Qureshi (Labour) Imran Hussain (Labour) Apsana Begum (Labour) Rupa Huq (Labour) Afzal Khan (Labour) Khalid Mahmood (Labour) Zarah Sultana (Labour) Mohammad Yasin (Labour) Anum Qaisar (Scottish National Party)
The ruling Conservatives and the main opposition Labour Party’s leadership made it clear that they would not back the motion.
Prior to voting, Labour brought up its own motion which was denied by the majority of the chamber. The Labour amendment called for humanitarian “pauses” as the party leadership believes a ceasefire would harm Israel’s “right to self-defence.”
Nevertheless, nearly 70 Labour MPs backed the SNP motion for an immediate ceasefire in the conflict, in defiance of Labour leader Keir Starmer who is a strong Israel supporter.
Labour had ordered its MPs to abstain on the SNP’s motion, which meant that frontbenchers must resign or face the sack if they support it.
Prior to the voting session on Wednesday, Naz Shah, the Shadow Home Office Minister, Helen Hayes, the Shadow Education Minister, and Afzal Khan, the Shadow Trade Minister, submitted their resignations.
Yasmin Qureshi also confirmed that she is stepping down as Shadow Women and Equalities Minister.
In her speech to Parliament Naz Shah said: “Make no mistake what is happening in Gaza is a humanitarian catastrophe. We urgently need an immediate ceasefire to stop the killing of innocent civilians in Palestine. Today I will be voting for an immediate ceasefire.
“Injustice is the greatest barrier to peace. Our British values call on us to stand up for justice and the rule of law. It can not be ‘one rule for the allies of the US, and another for the rest.’
“Despite all the risks to our personal positions, we must do what is right. The Palestinian people need a ceasefire, this is why representing the people of Bradford West, I will be voting for an immediate ceasefire.”
Following the vote, Labour leader Keir Starmer released a statement in which he defended his position.
He said Israel had suffered “its worst terrorist attack in a single day” at the hands of Hamas on October 7.
“No government would allow the capability and intent to repeat such an attack to go unchallenged,” he added.
“Since then, we have also seen an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in Gaza. At every stage during this crisis, my approach has been driven by the need to respond to both these tragedies.
“I regret that some colleagues felt unable to support the position tonight. But I wanted to be clear about where I stood, and where I will stand.”