Keir Starmer speaks on situation in Israel and Gaza
Sir Keir Starmer is thought to be on the brink of a major U-turn over his Israel-Gaza stance with pressure piling on the Labour Party leader to call for a ceasefire in the beleaguered region.
Last night, the Labour chief attempted to quell a potential frontbench rebellion, with some senior Labour MPs said to be on “resignation watch”, but there are fears his statement calling for a “humanitarian pause” in the fighting to allow vital aid to get to civilians was “too little too late”.
One official told the Politico website, which reports some Labour MPs have received more than 500 angry emails and a “relentless” blitz of phone calls, that his new statement is “completely insufficient”.
A second said it “might calm things for a few days but it won’t last. They’re bombing the sh*t out of civilians. He’s going to end up calling for a cease-fire.”
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Government to discuss release of hostages and humanitarian aid for Gaza today
The Deputy Prime Minister said Cobra would meet today for ministers to discuss the next moves on securing the release of hostages, as well as humanitarian aid for Gaza and the wider situation surrounding the Israel-Hamas conflict.
Asked about efforts to free British nationals being held hostage by Hamas, Oliver Dowden told Sky News: “This is a very serious situation and actually immediately after this media round that I’m doing this morning, I will be chairing a ministerial meeting of Cobra to update our position.”
Asked who would attend Cobra, Mr Dowden said: “It will be bringing together representatives from the relevant Government departments.
“So, from the Ministry of Defence, from the Foreign Office, from the Cabinet Office – and in the Cabinet Office we have the national security secretariat, and I lead the Cabinet Office.
“This is the way of bringing different bits of Government together to understand what further steps we can do and to assess the current situation.”
Pressed on what its aims are, he replied: “We will discuss the hostages and the wider situation in the region and will also discuss securing humanitarian aid. It is about ensuring we have cross-governmental ministerial grip on this situation.”
Labour leader accused of ‘tokenism’ after tense talks with Muslim Labour figures
The Labour leader held crunch talks with Mulsim Labour figures yesterday in an attempt to address the crisis.
But in doing so Sir Keir made things worse, one MP at the private meeting argued.
Meanwhile, a left-wing official said it “felt tokenistic”, reports Politico.
Keir Starmer urged to get grip on crisis and prevent ‘full-blown crisis’
Responding to Sir Keir Starmer’s latest statement, one MP said: “It’s a good step — but it’s a first step.”
A Muslim Labour figure added: “There is a way to navigate it that stops it turning into a full-blown crisis. We have to put humanity and empathy at the heart of it. He’s afraid of the word cease-fire but there are other ways to do it.”
Good morning from London.
Our political team will bring you the latest updates on Labour’s latest woes today as Keir Starmer’s party tears itself apart over its stance on the Israel-Hamas conflict raging in Gaza.
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