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The violence must stop

Today the Scottish Parliament voted for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. This is the only way to ensure access for vital humanitarian aid that will help to save lives in Israel and Gaza.

The big news from Westminster last week was the vote on an SNP amendment to the King’s Speech debate in which we asked the Government to call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and Israel which sadly the majority of Tory and Labour MPs voted against.

I’ve had more emails in favour of this than on any other subject since I became an MP and there’s no doubt our amendment had the support of a huge majority of my constituents. It was depressingly familiar that Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer ordered his MPs not to support it, not because of any genuine disagreement but because it had been proposed by the SNP. Nearly a quarter of Labour’s MPs voted with their conscience anyway although both their members in Scotland obeyed their leader.

As well as the indefensible killings of so many innocent people in Gaza we should also remember that over 200 Israeli civilians are being illegally held hostage by Hamas. At a meeting in Parliament I met the families of some of the hostages who spoke very movingly of their pain. Most of them had other family members who were murdered in unspeakably brutal ways during the Hamas attack on their homes. The suffering of both Israelis and Palestinians has gone on too long. It’s time for the violence on all sides to stop.

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