Labour call for 'immediate humanitarian ceasefire' in Gaza ahead of key SNP vote

The Labour party have tabled their own amendment to a new SNP motion calling for a ceasefire Credit: PA

The Labour party has shifted its position on Gaza, and has called for an "immediate humanitarian ceasefire" on Tuesday.

The new wording comes as part of an amendment to an SNP motion which calls for "an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and Israel", as Sir Keir Starmer tries to see off another potential rebellion over the war.

Starmer has been under pressure to change his stance on a ceasefire, after Labour faced a devastating blow in November when 56 MPs rebelled against the party and ten frontbenchers resigned.

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MPs will vote on the SNP motion on Wednesday, which states, "the only way to stop the slaughter of innocent civilians is to press for a ceasefire now".

In contrast, Labour's amendment adds the word "humanitarian", instead calling for an "immediate humanitarian ceasefire, which means an immediate stop to the fighting and a ceasefire that lasts and is observed by all sides".

The wording of the amendment also says a ceasefire is conditional on Hamas stopping violence, and reiterates that "Israelis have the right to assurance that the horror of 7th October cannot happen again".

The amendment concludes by saying "statehood is the inalienable right of the Palestinian people and not in the gift of any neighbour".

SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn said his party has "inserted a backbone" into Labour after it changed its stance.

In a post on X, he welcomed Labour's support for an immediate ceasefire - "we’ve been Westminster’s conscience on the brutality unfolding in Gaza.

“Our calls for an immediate ceasefire have been clear and consistent.

“Through Parliamentary pressure we have inserted a backbone into the Labour Party."

Some on the left are still critical of Labour's amendment, Diane Abbott who is currently suspended described it as "full of weasel words".

Rebellion risk for Starmer as government tables amendment to SNP motion?

The government has since tabled its own amendment to the SNP's motion which could have serious implications for Sir Keir Starmer.

The added amendment could kick Labour's into the long grass, leaving MPs unable to vote on it.

ITV News Political Editor Robert Peston understands that Starmer will order his MPs to vote against the SNP's motion, even if their own doesn't make it to the floor - he knows many of his MPs will rebel against this three-line whip.

The stakes will be highest for members of his frontbench team, because they could face the sack if they vote in opposition to his instructions

Writing on X, Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf said: "If Keir Starmer votes against the SNP motion for an immediate ceasefire because we are rightly calling out the collective punishment of the people of Gaza, he will not be forgiven."How many children have to die for Labour to do the right thing and support an immediate ceasefire."

ITV News' Political Editor Robert Peston explains the impact of the move from Labour in a post on X:

The refreshed stance from Labour comes as the US calls for a "temporary ceasefire" in Gaza, in a rival draft UN Security Council resolution.

Previously, the Americans had avoided the word "ceasefire" during UN votes on the war, but this new resolution calls for a temporary ceasefire in Gaza, linked to the release of all hostages, and call for the lifting of all restrictions on the delivery of humanitarian aid.

Prince William has also made a statement on the conflict, saying "too many have been killed" in Gaza.

Kensington Palace said the Prince of Wales will "recognise the human suffering" caused by the Gaza conflict as he is to meet aid workers and visit a synagogue.

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