Israel-Hamas war: Scotland MP Michael Shanks dismisses claims Labour is divided, as MP resigns from shadow cabinet over ceasefire calls
Scottish Labour’s newest MP insists his party is not divided on Gaza, after one MP quit Sir Keir Starmer’s shadow cabinet over the issue.
MP Imran Hussain has resigned as shadow new deal for working people minister to “strongly advocate for a ceasefire” in Gaza.
In his resignation letter, Mr Hussain said his view on the issue was “substantially” different to Sir Keir’s position. He is calling for a humanitarian pause, arguing a full ceasefire would allow Hamas to carry out further attacks on Israel.
Now Michael Shanks, MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West, said he supported Sir Keir’s calls for a humanitarian pause and had dismissed claims the party is divided on the Israel-Hamas war.
Speaking on BBC Good Morning Scotland, he said: “We need to see an end to violence and this is where we are united in the protection of civilians, the release of hostages, getting humanitarian aid into Gaza, and then getting to a two-state solution.
“Imran Hussain has taken a personal decision for him. Labour is a broad church on many issues, including the Middle East, and Keir has engaged in many discussions with MPs and taken on a broad range of views.
“But we should condemn terrorism in all its forms, reaffirm our support for the state of Israel, call for a humanitarian pause, and redouble our efforts for a secure and sovereign Palestinian state – only a two-state solution to this is the long-term peaceful solution.”
Mr Shanks added “I don’t think its division” and argued the scenes unfolding in Gaza are “not about the Labour Party”.
He also argued for the Foreign Office to put more emphasis on finding a two-state solution in the region.
Mr Shanks said: “I think it is a great shame of the past few years that a two-state solution has not been as prominent as it should have been. It is too far down the pecking order of foreign policy.
“Israel is now recovering from one of the worst killings of people since the Holocaust and the only way to resolve this is to get round the table and talk - but that won’t happen while Hamas holds hostages.”
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