Calls for a Ceasefire

On 7 October, the proscribed terrorist organisation Hamas committed the worst horrific atrocities against innocent Jewish civilians since the Second World War. Their acts of horror were designed as part of their strategy to build up to their ultimate aim, a second Jewish holocaust. Those acts should have warranted the most stern and unwavering condemnation from all sides of the House. 

However, what we have seen from some individuals is a disappointing and unacceptable form of conditional condemnation, which whilst acknowledging the horror of the attack, swiftly moved on to denounce the reaction from Israel, who have a fundamental right under international law to defend itself and its citizens from external terrorist threats.

The SNP are calling on the UK Government to pressure Israel into not defending itself against terrorists, despite Hamas explicitly stating that they will continue its campaign of murder and horror against the state of Israel until it no longer exists. That cannot be allowed to happen.

I am deeply regretful about the loss of innocent Palestinian lives, and it is right to urge Israel to do everything possible to avoid them. However, it is Hamas who is putting those Palestinian lives at risk, and we should be condemning their actions in the strongest possible terms.

Debate on 21.2.24

I am disappointed that proceedings in this debate descended into the situation that we saw. It was unedifying, and unworthy of our elected Chamber.

That said, the behaviour of Mr Speaker was, in my view, entirely improper. We cannot have a situation where the laws and precedents of the House of Commons are changed at the last minute in response to external threats towards individuals. This is undemocratic and simply unacceptable.

This is why I have taken the decision to sign the Early Day Motion ('EDM'), tabled by my colleague William Wragg MP, stating that we have no confidence in Mr Speaker. This EDM has received strong cross-party support.