Wednesday at 7 pm, MPs in the House of Commons voted on “Amendment H” tabled by the Scottish National Party to the traditional motion on the King’s Speech. This amendment called on the government to “join with the international community in urgently pressing all parties to agree to an immediate ceasefire” between Israel and Gaza. The amendment was ultimately defeated 294-125, with MPs from the governing Conservative Party carrying the days against some members the SNP, Liberal Democrats and the official opposition Labour Party. Most members of the Labour Party abstained. While the voting took place, over 15,000 protesters made their way to Westminster chanting for a ceasefire. The rally, organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign UK (PSC), follows a wave of protests in support of Palestine, including the largest demonstration in UK history last week amassing the support of an estimated million protesters. Tuesday, in anticipation of the vote, the PSC urged the public to write to their MPs to vote in favour of a ceasefire.
The Scottish National Party made a call for an immediate ceasefire this week, saying that “to any neutral observer, war crimes are being committed by Israel in Gaza”. Party leader Stephen Flynn condemned the idea of temporary ‘humanitarian pauses’ which Labour party leaders have called for.
Calls for a ceasefire have lately increased globally. Last week, UN bodies made a call for a ceasefire which garnered 18 signatures. UN Secretary-General António Guterres expressed the worsening humanitarian crises and increasing urgency for humanitarian aid to reach Gaza. He stated that “Gaza is becoming a graveyard for children”.