Chiswick’s local MPs vote for “immediate humanitarian ceasefire” in Gaza after chaotic scenes in Parliament

Image above: Ruth Cadbury MP, Andy Slaughter MP

Ruth Cadbury and Andy Slaughter support Labour ceasefire motion which has sparked calls for Speaker to resign

Two MPs local to Chiswick have voted for an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire” in the Israel-Hamas war, after chaotic scenes in the House of Commons when SNP MPs and some Conservatives walked out of the chamber in protest over the Speaker’s handling of the Gaza ceasefire debate.

Brentford and Isleworth MP Ruth Cadbury and Hammersmith MP Andy Slaughter backed the Labour motion, which was accepted at the last minute by Sir Lindsay Hoyle. He was later forced to apologise to MPs over that decision and is facing calls to quit.

The row erupted in the Commons on Wednesday (21 February), over an SNP ‘opposition day’ The purpose of an opposition day is for an opposition party to have the opportunity to put forward a motion for debate and vote. On Wednesday it was the turn of the SNP to do that and they chose to table a motion calling for an “immediate ceasefire” in Gaza.

The Speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, broke with tradition and allowed a Labour amendment on the SNP motion first, prompting fury from both the SNP and the Conservatives, whose members both walked out of the debate. Several MPs have called on the Speaker to step down, and 33 Tory and SNP MPs have declared they have no confidence in him.

Image above: Gaza debate in Parliament, Wednesday 21 February 2024

Sir Lindsay Hoyle was accused of allowing Labour to hijack the debate. He came back to the chamber later, saying:

“I thought I was doing the right thing and the best thing, and I regret it, and I apologise for how it’s ended up.

“I do take responsibility for my actions, and that’s why I want to meet with the key players who have been involved.”

SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn told the PA news agency:

“I think we probably need a wee bit of an investigation into what has happened here.”

He said his party had been treated “with complete and utter contempt”.

Labour’s amendment called for an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire” in Gaza, but did not include mention of the “collective punishment of the Palestinian people” which is a technical term amounting to a war crime and which was part of the text of the SNP motion.

The Labour amendment also “condemns the terrorism of Hamas” and notes “that Israel cannot be expected to cease fighting if Hamas continues with violence”. It called for the release of hostages and international aid to be let through to Gaza.

Keir Starmer faced the largest rebellion since becoming Labour Leader on Wednesday faced with the SNP’s motion, but it is reported that hours before the vote he visited Sir Lindsay’s office in person. During the meeting, the Labour Leader is said to have put pressure the Speaker to accept the motion, claiming that the security of Labour MPs was at risk.

A source close to the Speaker said the suggestion he was pressurised by the Labour Party was “absolutely untrue”.

The MP for Ealing Central and Acton, Dr Rupa Huq, was not present during the vote, as she was travelling abroad as a delegate for OSCE (the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe).

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