Thank you to everyone who has been in touch about the horrific ongoing situation in Gaza.
Like everyone who has contacted me, I am horrified by the events that have taken place in Gaza and Israel since October 7th and I sincerely hope for a swift end to the violence.
Last night I voted in favour of Labour’s amendment to the King’s Speech which opened the door to bringing about that end. You can read the full text of that amendment below.
I abstained in the vote on the SNP’s amendment because I believe that – unlike Labour’s – it did not go far enough in terms of setting out the conditions necessary to find a long-term, sustainable solution.
The Labour amendment stressed the “jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court to address the conduct of all parties in Gaza” and called on Israel to protect hospitals and lift the inhumane siege conditions.
Our amendment also called on the Government to work with the international community to prevent a wider escalation of the conflict, guarantee that people in Gaza who are forced to flee can return to their homes and seek an end to the expansion of illegal settlements and settler violence in the West Bank.
It went on to stress that humanitarian pauses must be longer to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid on a large enough scale, a vital step towards a lasting cessation of fighting and a credible, diplomatic and political process to deliver the lasting peace of a two-state solution.
Thank you to every one of my constituents who has taken the time to contact me about this important issue. It has been incredible to see the strength of feeling among the residents of Lewisham Deptford.
Full text of our amendment:
“and submit to Your Majesty that this House wishes to see an end to the violence in Israel and Palestine; unequivocally condemns the horrific terrorist attack and murder of civilians by Hamas, calls for the immediate release of all hostages and reaffirms Israel’s right to defend its citizens from terrorism; believes all human life is equal and that there has been too much suffering, including far too many deaths of innocent civilians and children, over the past month in Gaza; reaffirms the UK’s commitment to the rules based international order, international humanitarian law and the jurisdiction of the ICC to address the conduct of all parties in Gaza and Hamas’s attacks in Israel; calls on Israel to protect hospitals and lift the siege conditions allowing food, water, electricity, medicine and fuel into Gaza; requests the Government continue to work with the international community to prevent a wider escalation of the conflict in the region, guarantee that people in Gaza who are forced to flee during this conflict can return to their homes and seek an end to the expansion of illegal settlements and settler violence in the West Bank; and, while acknowledging the daily humanitarian pauses to allow in aid and the movement of civilians, believe they must be longer to deliver humanitarian assistance on a scale that begins to meet the desperate needs of the people of Gaza, which is a necessary step to an enduring cessation of fighting as soon as possible and a credible, diplomatic and political process to deliver the lasting peace of a two-state solution.”