Statement on the Gaza crisis

3 May 2024

Like so many across Cheadle, I have been horrified at the unfolding crisis in Gaza.

Week by week, we have been watching a nightmare of unimaginable proportions. Now, over 34,000 Palestinians are reported to have been killed in Gaza - including well over 13,000 children. Six months on from the dreadful Hamas terrorist attacks on October 7 which killed 1,200 Israelis, around 130 hostages still remain captive. 

Over the last few weeks, we have seen the deplorable killing of aid workers from World Central Kitchen - three of them British. And as humanitarian access to Gaza remains restricted, and as the healthcare system has collapsed, these attacks have already had a chilling effect on the already limited ability of NGOs to deliver life-saving aid into the Strip. 

We have also tragically seen many healthcare workers and journalists killed these past few months. 

I am staggered that the UK Government has done so little in response to a crisis of such horrific proportions. 

Meanwhile, reports that Palestinians are being arrested, detained without charge or apparent reason, and with no access to a fair trial are deeply concerning. I agree with Amnesty International’s calls for granting these people immediate access to lawyers and family members.

The Liberal Democrats have been calling since November for an immediate bilateral ceasefire - to stop the killing, get aid in, get the hostages home, and create the political space to reach a lasting peace. We were the first major UK party to do so. 

I and my party always stand on the side of international law and human rights. 

I am proud that our foreign affairs spokesperson Layla Moran MP is the first British-Palestinian MP. She has spoken movingly about her family who have been trapped in Gaza.

I agree with both Layla and Ed Davey who have spoken not just about the importance of ensuring that the current violence stops - but about ensuring that it can never happen again. Major obstacles to peace such as the illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank must now be addressed. That is why Ed Davey called for UK sanctions on settler leaders to be expanded to Israeli Government Ministers, and leaders of the settler movement, Ben Gvir and Smotrich. 

Liberal Democrats recognise the importance of securing a two-state solution - which is vital for the security and dignity of Palestinians and Israelis. We are the only major UK party calling for the immediate recognition of the state of Palestine, to help achieve that aim. I want a world in which all Palestinians and Israelis can live in peace and security. 

I am calling on the UK Government to:

  • Do all it can to secure an immediate, bilateral ceasefire, with aid into Gaza and the hostages released
  • Immediately cease the exporting of British arms to Israel 
  • Demand the immediate access to lawyers and family members for those Palestinians held in prisons without charge or reason
  • Take meaningful action on the illegal settlements, including sanctioning Ben Gvir and Smotrich
  • Immediately recognise the state of Palestine
  • Take steps to deliver a two-state solution, with Hamas out of Gaza and a lasting peace for Palestinians and Israelis

If you would like to support the people impacted by the violence in Gaza, please donate to UNICEF which is helping deliver life-saving supplies to children caught in the conflict.

You can donate here:

My thoughts go out to all those affected.


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