Baroness Warsi resigns from government over Gaza policy

Foreign Office minister Baroness Warsi has resigned from the government over its policy on Gaza.

In her letter of resignation, Warsi said the government's policy on Gaza is "morally indefensible".

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'Public needs reassurance about arms sales to Israel'

Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander has said the British public needs reassurance about the number of UK arms being exported to Israel.

Credit: PA

The minister said the government must urgently publish a review into its existing UK export licenses to Israel.

In a statement, he said: “The Government must provide assurances that the Consolidated Criteria on arms control is being upheld, which prevents the export of military and dual use equipment which could be used for internal repression, the abuse of human rights or to provoke or prolong armed conflicts.”

Mr Alexander added it was a "source of shame" that the Prime Minister has so far failed to condemn the scale of Palestinian suffering as a result of the Israeli offensive.

Replacement announced for Baroness Warsi

Downing St has announced that Baroness Warsi, who resigned on Monday, will be replaced as a Foreign Office Minister by Baroness Anelay of St Johns.

ITV News Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship has been following developments.


MP: Israel is 'responsible for the people of Palestine'

As the occupying power, Israel is "responsible for the people of Palestine" and civilian casualties in Gaza raise "serious questions as to whether we should be allies in terms of supplying arms", according to an influential MP.

Chair of the International Development Committee, Sir Malcolm Bruce told Good Morning Britain Israel's decision to impose "that kind of a blockade" and "killing, quite obviously, innocent people" would not create lasting peace.

Government 'committed to lasting change in Gaza'

Progress towards "building a prosperous and stable future Palestinian state" will not happen unless there is a lasting ceasefire, a No 10 spokesperson said.

David Cameron has defended his position on the Gaza conflict. Credit: PA Wire

A group of MPs has called on the Prime Minister to do more to persuade Israel to lift restrictions on the movements of Palestinians and to improve the supply of water and electricity.

"We welcome the International Development Committee's strong support for our work on economic development in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and agree that sustainable development can only happen if economic restrictions are eased," a Government spokesman said.

"We will continue our work to help strengthen Palestinian institutions and build a prosperous and stable future Palestinian state. We are also committed to lasting change in Gaza, though we recognise that reconstruction and growth cannot happen until we have a durable ceasefire."

Israel's measures in Gaza 'will worsen its own security'

Israel's policies in Gaza are likely to be counter-productive to its own security situation, MPs have warned, as they called for David Cameron to do more over the issue.

The Commons International Development Committee said:

We saw a country whose people have known immense suffering now imposing conditions on their Palestinian neighbours which cause a different but very real suffering and often without real security justification.

We saw Israel taking a range of actions that hinder Palestinian economic development and must, at the very least, cause deep resentment on the Palestinian side, even amongst the most moderate and pragmatic people, and so will actually worsen Israel's own security.

– Commons International Development Committee


Cameron urged to persuade Israel over Gaza restrictions

David Cameron must do more to persuade Israel to lift restrictions on the movements of Palestinians, a group of MPs have said.

Some 1,900 people have lost their lives in the conflict. Credit: Reuters

The Commons International Development Committee said they were "shocked" by what they had seen during the conflict and argued controls on the movements of Gazans were not "proportionate".

It called on the government to persuade the Israelis to improve the supply of water and electricity.

The call comes after Baroness Warsi resigned from the government over what she called its "morally indefensible" stance on Gaza.

Warsi: Minister 'talked about resigning' over Gaza

Baroness Warsi has said in an interview that a Government minister has talked to her about resigning in protest over policy toward Israel and Hamas.

Baroness Warsi said choosing to resign was "an incredible difficult decision". Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

In an interview with Channel 4 News, the former Home Office minister added that there was "unease" on the backbenches over the Gaza conflict and said that one "senior Conservative" backencher had been "on the phone in tears".

She said she hoped her resignation would leave "people who feel the same as I do feel prepared to raise those voices within Government".

Warsi's rise ends with 'point of principle' resignation

Baroness Warsi was hailed by David Cameron before the Conservatives came to power, but has now halted her rise through the party's ranks - quitting as Foreign Minister over the Government's policy on Gaza.

ITV News Political Correspondent Emily Morgan reports:

Clegg: Arms licences to Israel should be suspended

Nick Clegg said Israel had

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg says he wants to see arms licences to Israel suspended after the country "overstepped the mark" in its attacks on Gaza.

The Liberal Democrats leader said he shared Baroness Warsi's "concerns" over Britain's relations with Israel and said such licences should be halted pending an existing review of whether they should be revoked more permanently in future.

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