Keir Starmer To Reject Calls For Israeli-Hamas Ceasefire Despite Labour Backlash

He will say the move would leave the militant group able to launch another terror attack.
Keir Starmer is facing the biggest test of his leadership of the Labour Party.
Keir Starmer is facing the biggest test of his leadership of the Labour Party.
Ian Forsyth via Getty Images

Keir Starmer will today reject calls for a ceasefire in the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas.

The Labour leader has come under mounting pressure from within his own party to support an end to hostilities.

Many frontbenchers have broken ranks with the party leadership to back the demands.

In his first public comments since the row erupted, Starmer will this morning say that he instead supports a “humanitarian pause” to allow vital aid to get into Gaza.

He will say he understands the calls for a complete ceasefire, but insist that would just allow Hamas to regroup and launch another terror attack on Israel.

The latest conflict in the Middle East erupted on October 7 when Hamas fighters entered Israel, murdered 1,400 people and took more than 200 hostage.

Thousands of Palestinians have been killed during retaliatory strikes launched by Israel in response.

Labour mayors Sadiq Khan and Andy Burnham, as well as the party’s Scottish leader, Anas Sarwar, have also called for a ceasefire, adding to the pressure on Starmer.

Elsewhere in his speech this morning, the Labour leader will call on the international community to ensure the conflict leads to a renewal of a political process aimed at agreeing a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine.

He will say Labour supports Israel’s right to defend itself, but it must be done within international law.

Starmer will be speaking the day after Labour suspended ;eft-wing MP Andy McDonald over comments he made at a pro-Palestinian march in London at the weekend.

The Middlesbrough MP has had the party whip removed for using the phrase “between the river and the sea” on Saturday. The suspension means he will sit in parliament as an independent MP.

Home secretary Suella Braverman has previously branded the slogan anti-Semitic and claimed that it is “widely understood” to call for the destruction of Israel. Pro-Palestinian protesters, who have used the phrase as a chant during recent demonstrations in London, contest this definition.

In a video shared by McDonald of his speech at the rally, he said: “We will not rest until we have justice. Until all people, Israelis and Palestinians between the river and the sea can live in peaceful liberty.”

A Labour spokesperson said: “The comments made by Andy McDonald at the weekend were deeply offensive, particularly at a time of rising anti-Semitism which has left Jewish people fearful for their safety.

“The chief whip has suspended the Labour whip from Andy McDonald, pending an investigation.”


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