Labour says Gaza ceasefire would help Hamas after frontbencher resigns over Starmer’s stance – UK politics live | Politics

Good morning. It took a month, but Keir Starmer has now received the first resignation from a Labour frontbencher over his stance on the Israel-Gaza war. At council level several dozen councillors have already resigned, either because of the LBC interview Starmer gave shortly after the war started in which he appeared to back Israel’s decision to cut off food, water and power supplies to Gaza, and partly because Starmer is refusing to back calls for a ceasefire. Many members and supporters are also furious, particular in constituencies with large Muslim populations. Starmer has changed his tone a lot since the LBC interview, and taken time to defend his position at length. But Imran Hussain’s resignation is a moment of peril because it could encourage other frontbenchers who share his concerns to quit too. Hussain says a ceasefire is “essential to ending the bloodshed”.

Here is Aletha Adu’s story about the resignation.

This morning Bridget Phillipson, the shadow education secretary, was giving interview, and this is what she said on the Today programme when asked what she would says to Hussain. She replied:

We all want to see more humanitarian aid getting into Gaza. We want to see humanitarian pauses. And of course, it’s important that Israel upholds international law. I do recognise the strength of feeling across our party on it …

The events that we saw on 7 October were sickening acts of utter barbarity and brutality. But everyday on our screens we also see the suffering of Palestinian children and it is right that everything possible is done to alleviate that plight.

Asked what Labour calling for humanitarian pauses, but not for a ceasefire, she said:

[A ceasefire] would freeze the conflict in time. It risks allowing Hamas to regroup and to perpetuate further terrible atrocities that they’ve said that they want the opportunity to do. That humanitarian pause to allow for extra time for aid to get into Gaza is in line with what the US are calling for.

Labour HQ is saying the same thing. This is how a spokespersons responded to Hussain’s resignation.

Labour fully understands calls for a ceasefire. Everybody wants to see an end to the shocking images we are seeing in Gaza. We need to see all hostages released and aid getting to those most in need.

But a ceasefire now will only freeze this conflict and would leave hostages in Gaza and Hamas with the infrastructure and capability to carry out the sort of attack we saw on October 7.

International law must be followed at all times and innocent civilians must be protected. Labour is calling for humanitarian pauses in the fighting.

This is the best and most realistic way to address the humanitarian emergency in Gaza and is a position shared by our major allies.

Here is the agenda for the day.

9am: Lucy Frazer, the culture secretary, takes part in an LBC phone-in.

Morning: Rishi Sunak is visiting a school in Lincolnshire.

10am: Mark Sedwill, the former cabinet secretary, gives evidence to the Covid inquiry.

11.30am: Downing Street holds a lobby briefing.

After 11.30am: Gillian Keegan, the education secretary, and Angela Rayner, the deputy Labour leader, open the second day of debate on the king’s speech.

2pm: Claire Coutinho, the energy secretary, gives evidence to the Commons energy security and net zero committee.

2pm: Justin Tomlinson, the former minister for the disabled, gives evidence to the Covid inquiry.

2.30pm: Amanda Spielman, head of Ofsted, gives evidence to the Commons culture committee.

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