Winston Churchill’s grandson calls for UK to halt arms to Israel

Winston Churchill’s grandson calls for UK to halt arms to Israel
Nicholas Soames is supporting the call for the UK to halt arms following the airstrike that killed seven World Central Kitchen aid workers.
2 min read
05 April, 2024
Winston Churchill’s grandson, Nicholas Soames, said the UK should send a "message" to Israel by halting arms exports [GETTY]

The grandson of late UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill is backing calls for the UK to halt its arms sales to Israel after an Israeli airstrike killed seven World Central Kitchen (WCK) aid workers in Gaza on Monday.

Speaking to The Guardian, Conservative Party MP Nicholas Soames said the UK should send a message to Israel over its actions in Gaza.

"It's probably time that that happened now, yes, I think if we're determined to show that we are not prepared to countenance these ongoing disasters," Soames said when asked whether the UK should stop arms.

While Soames conceded that the UK's contribution to Israel's arsenal would be "tiny" and exports are "probably" parts, he said it's the "message that matters".

Soames is joining fellow Conservative MPs David Jones, Paul Bristow, Flick Drummond, and former minister Hugo Swire, who have also called for the UK to stop its arms trade with Israel.

A fourth Tory MP, Mark Logan, called for the UK to "seriously reassess" its exports to Israel in light of the WCK killings.

The UK has been facing pressure to halt its arms exports to Israel as the nation erupted in anger over the death of three British aid workers who are a part of the seven killed.

Conservative peer Peter Ricketts, a former national security advisor and permanent secretary at the UK Foreign Office, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that a condition for sending arms is that the company complies with international law, and the time has come to send Israel that "signal".

At the same time, over 600 legal experts, including three former British Supreme Court justices, warned the UK government that the nation risks violating international law by continuing arms sales to Israel.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has described the killings as an "awful, awful tragedy", telling The Sun that arms licenses are kept under "careful" review and "regulations and procedures" are followed.