Dozens of Labour MPs break rank to defy Keir Starmer over vote for ceasefire in Gaza

Last night, MPs voted on amendments to the King’s Speech as dozens of Labour rebels backed an SNP motion calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

In total, eight Labour frontbenchers including Jess Phillips resigned from the Labour frontbench in order to do so.

One of the rebels, former shadow home office minister Naz Shah, told the House: “For the people of Palestine, every minute, every hour, every day we wait is another orphan, another grieving mother and another family wiped out”.

Imran Hussein, who resigned from the Labour frontbench earlier this month over the party’s position on a ceasefire in Gaza, said: “[Without a ceasefire] the desperately needed aid and assistance, the food, water, fuel and medicine that Palestinians urgently need and cry out for will not be able to safely enter Gaza”.

Other Labour rebels such as Jess Phillips, who resigned last night as shadow minister for domestic violence and safeguarding, did not speak in the debate.

Introducing the SNP motion calling for a ceasefire, the party’s home affairs spokesperson Alison Thewliss said: “If we do not strive for peace, we condemn another generation in Palestine and Israel to a cycle of violence, to death and destruction beyond imagination”.

56 Labour MPs voted for the SNP amendment to the King’s Speech on Wednesday night.

The 10 frontbench resignations were as follows:

  • Paula Barker, Shadow Minister for devolution and the English Regions
  • Rachel Hopkins, Shadow Minister for Veterans
  • Afzal Khan, Shadow Minister for Legal Aid of the United Kingdom
  • Sarah Owen, Shadow Minister for Local Government and Faith
  • Jess Phillips, Shadow Minister for Domestic Violence and Safeguarding
  • Yasmin Qureshi, Shadow Minister for International Development
  • Naz Shah, Shadow Minister for Crime Reduction
  • Andy Slaughter, Shadow Solicitor General
  • Dan Carden, Parliamentary Private Secretary
  • Mary Foy, Parliamentary Private Secretary

In total, MPs voted 293 to 125 – a majority 168 – to reject the SNP’s amendment calling for “all parties to agree to an immediate ceasefire” in Gaza.

‘I must vote with my constituents, my head, and my heart’ – Jess Phillips’ resignation letter in full