This is such a heart-breaking time for so many families in Israel and Palestine and I know that across the world people of all religions are praying for peace. As an MP, I feel a moral duty to do everything I can to promote peace and an end to this bloodshed, and my prayers are with each and every person who is suffering.
Since the horrific events on 7th October and throughout the ongoing conflict, I have and will continue to ask Government to do all they can to support getting humanitarian aid to those in Gaza, to ensure that international law is upheld and to make sure all Israeli hostages are released.
The events of October 7th happened when Parliament was in recess and therefore when parliament returned, I used the first opportunity on 18th October to speak in a debate in Parliament, calling for humanitarian corridors, access to aid and international law to be upheld.
On 26th October, I wrote to then the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, James Cleverley to ask that the British Government, call for international law to be upheld and support Palestinian refugees.
I have also asked Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development affairs the following written questions:
- 24th October- To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the extent of the damage to the Islamic Relief offices in Gaza City.
- 24th October and 7th November- To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of humanitarian aid supplies to Gaza; and what steps he is taking to support (a) Islamic Relief, (b) the Egyptian Red Crescent and (c) other aid agencies in delivering aid.
- 7th November- To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to help secure the release of hostages taken by Hamas since 7 October 2023.
- 7th November- West Bank- To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the situation in the occupied West Bank territories; and whether he has had discussions with his regional counterparts on (a) supporting, (b) strengthening and (c) reforming the Palestinian Authority.
Throughout the conflict I have shared and posted across my social media, calling for peace and to ensure those in need have access to essential aid. This includes on 22nd October sharing Lisa Nandy’s interview with BBC calling for an urgent upscale of aid to Gaza and on 25th October, sharing Keir Starmer’s call for pause so people can access humanitarian aid stating that “the only way to get aid to the innocent Palestinians is to have a humanitarian pause in all hostilities.”
On 30th October I met with Labour’s Muslim Network and heard about their concerns about the rise in islamophobia in the UK.
On 25th October I met with the Palestinian Ambassador to the UK to discuss the need for humanitarian aid to get to Gaza.
On 14th November I met with Labour Friend’s of Israel and heard about their concerns over rising levels of antisemitism in the UK.
On 15th November I again, spoke in a debate in Parliament thanking Islamic relief for their work to provide aid to those in Gaza and calling for siege conditions to be lifted with aid and essential supplies switched back on.
On 15th November I voted for Labour’s amendment calling for an “enduring cessation of fighting” and a “credible, diplomatic and political process to deliver the lasting peace of a two state solution.”
On Monday 20th November I asked the Secretary of State what the Government is doing to ensure that unrestricted aid is reaching all the people that need it and that importantly, Israel lifts siege conditions.
On Wednesday 22nd November I had a moving call with the Palestinian Ambassador to the UK. We discussed the humanitarian situation, which is devastating beyond words and practically what needs to happen in order for there to be a permanent two state solution.
I stand against the rise in antisemitic abuse, threats and assaults at home and against the rise in Islamophobia. I do not want to see Britain become somewhere where Jewish schools are closed and Jewish families stay home and hide their identities. Nor do I want British Muslims to face increased Islamophobia or threats to their communities. I fully support police action and extra assistance for the safety of our communities.
At the forefront of my mind is always how the actions I take and the words I speak can try and help reduce the suffering of innocent Israelis and Palestinians. I want to assure every one of my commitment to calling for an enduring cessation of fighting. At this moment the chance of peace feels incredibly far away but I know that conflict only ever ends through dialogue and a negotiated peace process, and I will always speak up for it.