Labour conference must call for immediate ceasefire in Palestine

Anas Sarwar and anyone with a voice in the Labour Party has a duty to join us in calling for a ceasefire.

Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie says the Labour Party faces its most “shameful” moment since the Iraq war if it fails to demand a ceasefire in Palestine during its party conference in Glasgow which starts today.

His comments come as anti-war campaigners ready to descend upon Labour’s gathering tomorrow (Sat), amid growing concern from members over the party’s stance and risk of a split over a ceasefire vote at Westminster next week.

Mr Harvie said: “In February 2003, a hundred thousand people marched to the Labour conference in Glasgow to unite behind three words - Don’t Invade Iraq. This weekend, as Labour gathers in Glasgow again, two words - CEASEFIRE NOW - are ringing just as loudly.

“Unless Labour backs that unequivocal and direct call for Israel to stop its genocidal murder of Palestinians, it will be the party’s most shameful moment since the Iraq war. Keir Starmer cannot merely wring his hands now as Israeli tanks blast their way into Rafah. Labour supporters know it, their own politicians know it. I suspect even he knows it.

“In November, 56 Labour MPs had the conviction to vote against their leadership in calls for a ceasefire. Some from Starmer’s own policy team. Ten front benchers even resigned from their positions at Westminster.

“The party’s leader in Scotland Anas Sarwar has, in fairness, condemned Israel’s actions in Gaza. But instead of demanding urgent clarity from his UK leader, he has tried to excuse the hedging and the vagueness of their position.

“The Scottish Greens and many others across the political spectrum have taken a stand. This weekend, on home turf, I believe Sarwar and anyone with a voice in the Labour Party has a duty to join us. And next week at Westminster, their MPs must vote accordingly.”

Writing for The National newspaper, he added: “It is indefensible that Starmer hasn’t stood up to demand an end to this wretched war, that he hasn’t tried to prevent a further bloody catastrophe from unfolding.

“In doing the right thing though, he would send a message loud and clear to Benjamin Netanyahu that the UK will say no more. That the vengeful killing spree and annihilation of a people must stop.”

He concluded: “A political party which seeks to form a UK Government must step up, and do it now. In the days ahead Labour will face another ceasefire vote in the Commons, brought by the SNP. What Keir Starmer says, or fails to say, in Glasgow this weekend may never be more important."