Statement on today's Ceasefire votes

Today I will be voting for a ceasefire in the House of Commons – for the Labour Party amendment if it is selected for a vote, and for the SNP motion. I remain steadfast in my commitment to voting for a ceasefire on both sides at every opportunity that comes to Parliament.

Hundreds of thousands of people march every week to protest about the war in Israel and Gaza. They don't march because they've got nothing else to do. They march because they have to do something. I'm voting for a ceasefire because that's the least I can do. Parliament should be one in calling for an immediate ceasefire and substantial humanitarian aid.

For months now I have called for an immediate negotiated ceasefire on both sides and the release of all hostages. I believe this is the humanitarian position and the only way to protect civilians.

I have said repeatedly that Hamas are terrorists and what happened on October 7th was an appalling and barbaric terrorist act, which killed 1,200 people and must be condemned.

The subsequent actions of Israel in Gaza have been brutal and inhumane. At the time of writing, over 29,000 Palestinians have now been killed in Gaza since this conflict began.

We must stop the killing of innocent civilians on both sides. The looming Israeli ground assault on Rafah, where 1.5million people are sheltering, would be catastrophic and cannot be allowed.

Brondesbury Park Synagogue has adopted a hostage to get her out and return her home safely. We need to get her and all of Hamas’ hostages home to safety, and we need to stop the mass killing of children and all civilians in Gaza – these things are not mutually exclusive. Both should be able to be achieved.

As my colleague Sarah Champion MP (Chair, International Development Committee) has said, in the harrowing report from Sinai on conditions in Gaza: “Nothing that has been reported braces you for the true scale of the horror in Gaza. We’re simply not getting accurate information about the levels of destruction and brutality”.

Access to food and clean water is extremely difficult in Gaza. I fear that if these innocent civilians are not killed by IDF bombs, they will starve to death. Humanitarian aid must be allowed to civilians in Gaza. The situation has never been more urgent.

When the history books are written and people look back at these tragic events, they will say, why didn’t those in power do more?

To read my views in further detail, you can do so here: