Gaza conflict

I am receiving a very high level of correspondence from constituents and people across the UK about the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza. I appreciate the strength of public feeling regarding this conflict and wish to make a statement to outline my position.

My heartfelt sympathies lie with the victims of this conflict and those who have experienced anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. The conflict between Hamas and the Israeli Government is not a conflict between Muslims and Jews. Leaders of both religions have called for a ceasefire and the SNP stand in solidarity with members of both communities.

We call for unity in the face of the forces of hatred which try to divide us.

The SNP were among the first to call for a permanent ceasefire after the horrors of 7th October. While the temporary ceasefire and release of hostages was welcome relief, we continue to call for peace.

On Wednesday 15th November, I was among the 40 SNP MPs who voted for a ceasefire in Gaza, in an amendment to the King’s Speech tabled by the SNP. SNP MPs will be able to look themselves in the mirror knowing we did the right thing.

It is shameful that a majority of Tory and Labour MPs blocked calls for a ceasefire – and have condoned the continued bombardment of Gaza, which has killed thousands of children and civilians, in breach of international law.

There is growing international momentum for an immediate ceasefire but Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer have opted out of it – and have instead chosen to repeat their parties’ past mistakes by ignoring the UN, disregarding international law, and sitting on their hands while innocent civilians are being killed.

It is clear that support for a ceasefire would have been even stronger if Keir Starmer had not threatened Labour MPs with punishments if they voted for peace.

The SNP will continue to press for an immediate ceasefire – including by piling pressure on Westminster to do the right thing. This is not over, and we will not give up.

As a party, we will be calling for the international community to use all legal mechanisms at their disposal to conduct a full inquiry into the actions of all parties in this conflict.

We support the ongoing ICC investigation into war crimes committed in Israel and Palestine and will continue to call on the UK Government to support this investigation.