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Squirming David Lammy suggests Labour frontbenchers who oppose Keir Starmer and call for a Gaza ceasefire that helps Hamas can keep their jobs, as MPs slam brutal Israeli strike on refugee camp and call for halt to bloodshed


Senior Labour MPs who defy Sir Keir Starmer and back calls for a ceasefire in Gaza can keep their jobs, shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy suggested today.

Labour backbenchers and more than a dozen Labour frontbenchers and senior mayors, including Sadiq Khan and Andy Burnham, have gone public with calls for an end to the fighting.

But Sir Keir used a speech yesterday to double down on his support only for ‘humanitarian pauses’ to allow aid into the besieged enclave.

He argued a ceasefire would leave Hamas ’emboldened’ and able to mount more terror attacks such as the October 7 raid that triggered the current conflict.

Mr Lammy used a round of media interviews today to insist Labour maintains a policy of ‘collective responsibility’ – meaning shadow ministers have to toe the party line or quit or be sacked. But he said it was more of a ‘gradient’ than ‘binary’.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that none of the shadow cabinet had called for a ceasefire, suggesting more junior shadow ministers who sit outside it would be allowed to dissent without losing their jobs.

It came as dissent grew in the wake of an Israeli airstrike on a refugee camp, near Gaza City, that left hundreds dead.

Mr Lammy used a round of media interviews today to say that the party had a policy of 'collective responsibility' - meaning shadow ministers have to toe the party line or quit/be sacked. But he said it was more of a 'gradient' rather than being binary

Mr Lammy used a round of media interviews today to say that the party had a policy of ‘collective responsibility’ – meaning shadow ministers have to toe the party line or quit/be sacked. But he said it was more of a ‘gradient’ rather than being binary

It came as dissent grew in the wake of a bloody Israeli airstrike on a refugee camp, near Gaza City, that left hundreds dead

It came as dissent grew in the wake of a bloody Israeli airstrike on a refugee camp, near Gaza City, that left hundreds dead

Rescuers  dug through the destruction at Jabaliya to pull men, women and children from the rubble

Rescuers  dug through the destruction at Jabaliya to pull men, women and children from the rubble

Asked about collective responsibility on Today, Mr Lammy said: ‘All of us subscribed to collective responsibility … I don’t think it is binary, it is a gradient in the sense that all of us want the fighting to cease. There is no dispute about that, there is no dispute about the horrors we are witnessing.’

Pressed further he pointedly added: ‘I am not aware of Labour’s shadow cabinet dissenting from our position.’

Yesterday Sir Keir tried to heal the growing rift in the party, with a speech that hardened warnings to Israel to allow aid into Gaza and to avoid civilian casualties. 

But he also doubled down on his opposition to a ceasefire, saying: ‘A ceasefire always freezes any conflict in the state where it currently lies. And as we speak, that would leave Hamas with the infrastructure and the capabilities to carry out the sort of attack we saw on October 7.

‘Attacks that are still ongoing. Hostages who should be released still held. Hamas would be emboldened and start preparing for future violence immediately.’

Rescuers dug through the destruction at Jabaliya to pull men, women and children from the rubble. 

The director of a nearby hospital where casualties were taken, Dr Atef Al-Kahlot, said hundreds of people were wounded or killed, but the exact toll was not yet known.

Israel said the strike, which targeted senior Hamas military leader Ibrahim Biari, destroyed a militant command centre and an underground tunnel network, and killed dozens of other fighters. 

In the wake of the attack, Dr Rosina Allin-Khan, who was a shadow minister for mental health until recently, said: 'I respect some believe a ceasefire is not plausible, but they should stand up and explain what they'll do to avoid more devastating bloodshed like this. This conflict has escalated and too many people are standing by, not doing enough'

In the wake of the attack, Dr Rosina Allin-Khan, who was a shadow minister for mental health until recently, said: ‘I respect some believe a ceasefire is not plausible, but they should stand up and explain what they’ll do to avoid more devastating bloodshed like this. This conflict has escalated and too many people are standing by, not doing enough’

Military spokesman Jonathan Conricus said Biari had also been a key planner of the October 7 attack, and that the apartment buildings collapsed only because the underground Hamas complex had been destroyed.

But in the wake of the attack, Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, who was a shadow minister for mental health until recently, said: ‘I respect some believe a ceasefire is not plausible, but they should stand up and explain what they’ll do to avoid more devastating bloodshed like this. This conflict has escalated and too many people are standing by, not doing enough.’

Mr Lammy later told Today: ‘It is important for Israel to explain how this conforms with the laws of war, how does it conform as proportionate, because clearly those scenes are very troubling.

‘When it comes to the ethics it is clear to me that it is wrong to bomb a refugee camp, but, clearly, if there is a military objective it can be legally justifiable. It is for Israel to explain its actions.’



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