'List of honour': The UK MPs who voted for a Gaza ceasefire

'List of honour': The UK MPs who voted for a Gaza ceasefire
Ten frontbench Labour MPs have resigned after defying Labour leader Keir Starmer and voting for a ceasefire in Gaza.
3 min read
16 November, 2023
Labour MP Jess Phillips stepped down from her position in the Labour shadow cabinet in order to vote in favour of a ceasefire [photo by Andrew Aitchison / In Pictures via Getty Images]

The leader of the UK Labour Party, Keir Starmer, has suffered a major rebellion over his decision not to support a call for a ceasefire in Israel's war on Gaza during an amendment vote called by the Scottish National Party in parliament.

The amendment, titled the "ceasefire amendment" by the SNP, was defeated in parliament by a vote of 125 yes's to 293 no's.

56 Labour MPs defied the party instruction not to vote in favour of the amendment, including 10 front benchers, eight of which are shadow cabinet members and two being parliamentary aides.

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Jess Phillips is one such MP who left her position as Domestic Abuse and Safeguarding Shadow Minister, stating that she had to "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."

Former Shadow Minister for Exports Afzal Khan said that he resigned from his post stating that "I cannot in good conscious not actively support the call for a ceasefire this evening."

Yasmin Qureshi, who served as Shadow Women and Equalities Minister, stated that "the situation in Gaza desperately requires an immediate ceasefire," adding that "anything short of a ceasefire will lead to the loss of more lives."

Paula Barker, the former Shadow Minister for Devolution and the English Regions, stated that she was calling for a ceasefire following discussions with constituents, adding that what she called Israel's right to self defence against Hamas in Gaza was "not a blank cheque."

In addition, shadow cabinet members Sarah Owen, Rachel Hopkins, Naz Shah and Andy Slaughter and parliamentary aides Dan Carden and Mary Foy also voted for the ceasefire amendment.

Other Labour MPs that were part of the 56 who voted in favor of the amendment were former Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell as well as Zarah Sultana and Nadia Whittome.

The amendment would have added that parliament "respectfully regret that the [King's] Speech fails to include measures that would require the Government to uphold international law and protect all civilians in Israel and Palestine."

It would also have added sections condemning the "horrific killings by Hamas," an "end to the collective punishment of the Palestinian people," and emphasise the need for an "immediate ceasefire."

Around 1,200 Israelis were killed in Hamas's surprise attack on Israel while at least 11,470 Palestinians have been killed in Israel's indiscriminate attack on Gaza, including over 4,700 children.

Following the vote Starmer said, "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."

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The Labour leader has repeatedly defied calls from within his party to support a ceasefire in Gaza, instead calling for "humanitarian pauses" that would only see brief breaks in the Israeli bombardment to allow in  aid deliveries.

Humanitarian pauses have been criticised by aid organisations operating in Gaza, including Save the Children, who have stated that these pauses "can't stop hunger, dehydration, or disease."