Labour MP Jess Phillips quits frontbench over Sir Keir Starmer’s stance on Gaza

Credit: PA

Jess Phillips has become the most high-profile Labour MP to quit the frontbench over Sir Keir Starmer’s stance on Gaza, after voting in the Commons for a ceasefire.

The Birmingham Yardley MP said "this week has been one of the toughest in politics" since she entered parliament and "with a heavy heart" she will be leaving her role in the Shadow Home Office team.

Eight shadow ministers and two parliamentary private secretaries have left Sir Keir Starmer’s frontbench following the vote, Labour has said.

MPs voted 290 to 183, a majority of 107, to reject Labour’s King’s Speech amendment calling for longer "humanitarian pauses" rather than a ceasefire in Gaza.

The SNP's King's Speech amendment calling for "all parties to agree to an immediate ceasefire" in the enclave was also rejected 293 to 125.

A Labour spokesman said: "This is a whipped vote and every MP knows what the consequence of that means."

The spokesman acknowledged that shadow ministers had been given some freedom to speak in favour of a ceasefire, but said a Commons vote was a different matter.

"There is an understanding that there is a difference when it comes to the space that we have allowed, given that we fully understand that this is a very challenging subject… in the debate that there has been up to this point, but at the point at which there is a vote in Parliament that clearly is something that has a significance to it that everybody understands," the spokesman said.

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