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All the Labour MPs that supported the Gaza ceasefire motion – as 10 frontbenchers resign

Fifty-six opposition representatives broke ranks to demand an immediate end to bloodshed in the Middle East in snub to Sir Keir Starmer

Joe Sommerlad
Thursday 16 November 2023 11:29 GMT
Starmer suffers major frontbench rebellion in Gaza ceasefire vote

Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer suffered a major revolt among his own MPs on Wednesday evening when no fewer than 56, including 10 of his frontbenchers, defied the whip to back a Scottish National Party (SNP) amendment to the King’s Speech in the House of Commons calling for an “immediate ceasefire” in the Israel-Hamas war.

Labour had tabled its own motion, making a more moderate appeal for a “humanitarian pause” in the conflict and ordered its representatives to support that stance rather than endorse the more drastic position adopted by Stephen Flynn, the SNP’s leader in Westminster.

Sir Keir’s position places him in lockstep with Rishi Sunak’s government and the United States, European Union and United Nations by prioritising Israel’s duty to defend itself in response to the horrific atrocities it suffered in Hamas’s terror attack of 7 October over backing immediate intervention to address the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Gaza.

It also puts him at odds with many members of his own party, including the Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar, as well as many others, including the hundreds of protesters who gathered in Parliament Square on Wednesday to lobby for a ceasefire.

The SNP’s amendment was ultimately voted down by 294 to 125, in large part thanks to the Conservative’s majority in the Commons but the rebellion leaves the opposition leader facing a major headache and needing to replace eight members of his shadow cabinet after they left their roles over the dispute.

“I regret that some colleagues felt unable to support the position tonight,” Sir Keir said after the count.

“But I wanted to be clear about where I stood, and where I will stand. Leadership is about doing the right thing. That is the least the public deserves.”

A complete list of the Labour rebels who defied the whip follows below.

Frontbench resignations

Paula Barker

Shadow minister for devolution and the English regions and MP for Liverpool Wavertree

Rachel Hopkins

Shadow minister for veterans and MP for Luton South

Afzal Khan

Shadow minister for legal aid of the United Kingdom and MP for Manchester, Gorton

Sarah Owen

Shadow minister for local government and faith and MP for Luton North

Jess Phillips

Shadow minister for domestic violence and safeguarding and MP for Birmingham, Yardley

Yasmin Qureshi

Shadow minister for international development and MP for Bolton South East

Naz Shah

Shadow minister for crime reduction and MP for Bradford West

Andy Slaughter

Shadow solicitor general and MP for Hammersmith

Dan Carden

Parliamentary private secretary and MP for Liverpool, Walton

Mary Kelly Foy

Parliamentary private secretary and MP for City of Durham

Backbench resignations

Tahir Ali

MP for Birmingham, Hall Green

Rosena Allin-Khan

MP for Tooting

Apsana Begum

MP for Poplar and Limehouse

Clive Betts

MP for Sheffield South East

Paul Blomfield

MP for Sheffield Central

Karen Buck

MP for Westminster North

Richard Burgon

MP for Leeds East

Dawn Butler

MP for Brent Central

Ian Byrne

MP for Liverpool, West Derby

Liam Byrne

MP for Birmingham, Hodge Hill

Sarah Champion

MP for Rotherham

Stella Creasy

MP for Walthamstow

Jon Cruddas

MP for Dagenham and Rainham

Judith Cummins

MP for Bradford South

Marsha De Cordova

MP for Battersea

Peter Dowd

MP for Bootle

Julie Elliott

MP for Sunderland Central

Barry Gardiner

MP for Brent North

Margaret Greenwood

MP for Wirral West

Fabian Hamilton

MP for Leeds North East

Kate Hollern

MP for Blackburn

Rupa Huq

MP for Ealing Central and Acton

Imran Hussain

Mp for Bradford East

Ian Lavery

MP for Wansbeck

Emma Lewell-Buck

MP for South Shields

Clive Lewis

MP for Norwich South

Rebecca Long-Bailey

MP for Salford and Eccles

Khalid Mahmood

MP for Birmingham, Perry Barr

Rachael Maskell

MP for York Central

John McDonnell

MP for Hayes and Harlington

Ian Mearns

MP for Gateshead

Grahame Morris

MP for Easington

Kate Osamor

MP for Edmonton

Kate Osborne

MP for Jarrow

Bell Ribeiro-Addy

MP for Streatham

Lloyd Russell-Moyle

MP for Brighton, Kemptown

Cat Smith

MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood

Alex Sobel

MP for Leeds North West

Zarah Sultana

MP for Coventry South

Sam Tarry

MP for Ilford South

Stephen Timms

MP for East Ham

Jon Trickett

MP for Hemsworth

Valerie Vaz

MP for Walsall South

Nadia Whittome

MP for Nottingham East

Beth Winter

MP for Cynon Valley

Mohammad Yasin

MP for Bedford

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