UK political crisis explodes as Parliament refuses to support immediate ceasefire!


THE House of Commons tied itself up into knots on Wednesday as MPs from both Labour and Tory parties struggled to maintain their support for Israel’s genocidal war in Gaza, in the face of an uprising by millions of workers and youth worldwide demanding an immediate ceasefire, and giving their support to the Hamas national liberation movement.

Brendan O’Hara, Argyll and Bute, for the SNP opened the discussion on the SNP motion for an immediate ceasefire saying: ‘That this House calls for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and Israel; notes with shock and distress that the death toll has now risen beyond 28,000, the vast majority of whom were women and children; further notes that there are currently 1.5 million Palestinians sheltering in Rafah, 610,000 of whom are children; also notes that they have nowhere else to go; condemns any military assault on what is now the largest refugee camp in the world; further calls for the immediate release of all hostages taken by Hamas and an end to the collective punishment of the Palestinian people; and recognises that the only way to stop the slaughter of innocent civilians is to press for a ceasefire now.’

Instead of the SNP motion being voted on, Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy intervened, moving, with the permission of the Speaker, a Labour amendment: ‘This house believes that an Israeli ground offensive in Rafah risks catastrophic humanitarian consequences and therefore must not take place; notes the intolerable loss of Palestinian life, the majority being women and children; condemns the terrorism of Hamas who continue to hold hostages; supports Australia, Canada and New Zealand’s calls for Hamas to release and return all hostages and for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, which means an immediate stop to the fighting and a ceasefire that lasts and is observed by all sides.’

Lammy noted: ‘It is now 137 days since the appalling 7 October massacre, and since that day, the killing has gone on. Flattened cities, ransacked kibbutzim, teeming refugee camps, hostages in chains — we have seen it all on our TV and phone screens.’ He blamed Hamas!

MPs then voted on Lammy’s Labour amendment rather than the SNP’s immediate ceasefire motion, creating chaos and confusion with a mass walk-out of SNP and Tory MPs over no vote on the SNP motion.

MPs stormed out and Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of the House followed them some 10 minutes later, as the motion by the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) calling for an immediate ceasefire was blocked by the political manoeuvrings of Labour leader Keir Starmer.

100 Labour MPs had indicated they would defy Starmer again as the murderous onslaught that has claimed the lives of nearly 30,000 Palestinians, mainly women and children, could not be ignored or justified. but there was no vote at all on the main resolution.

Tory MP Fox proposed a Tory amendment to the SNP motion that simply called for a ‘humanitarian’ pause in Gaza with the condition that the Palestinian resistance must surrender and release any Israelis held by them.

Under the rules of Parliament, the SNP motion should have been voted on first, followed by amendments from both Labour and the Tories if the main motion was not passed. This never happened: the SNP motion was dumped!

To prevent the prospect of Labour MPs voting for an immediate ceasefire Starmer had pressurised Speaker Hoyle into dropping all normal procedures and put the Labour amendment first – meaning cowardly Labour MPs would not have to vote against an immediate ceasefire.

Its passing meant the SNP motion automatically fell.

This was a blatant attempt to shield Labour MPs from an enraged working class that has had enough of the slaughter and are demanding an end to genocide.

In the event, this did not go as planned and instead SNP MPs, furious at being denied their right to vote on a ceasefire, walked out, followed by many Tory MPs.

The fact that 30,000 Palestinian lives count for nothing compared to saving the political lives of Starmer and the Labour leadership will provoke millions of workers already rising up against the Zionist slaughter.

The spectacle of the ‘Mother of all Parliaments’, that great bastion of bourgeois democracy, collapsing like a pack of cards will further enrage workers.

The trade unions must immediately convene an emergency TUC Congress to call a general strike to bring down the Tories and bring in a workers’ government and socialism. This is the only way forward.