Rishi Sunak hit by Tory Palestine rebellion as senior MPs call for ceasefire

David Cameron warns of ‘daunting times’ across the globe

Rishi Sunak has been stung with a new rebellion over Israel and Palestine just days before he heads for his Christmas break.

Ten Conservative MPs have written to Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron demanding a ceasefire in the Middle East after fighting broke out on October 7.

The MPs – including some senior and respected backbenchers – also blast the UK’s failure to vote for such a measure during a recent UN vote, saying they were “dismayed” at Britain’s abstention.

The demands for a ceasefire are a breach of the Government’s official policy, which has called for “pauses” to get aid into Gaza, but has stopped short of demanding a ceasefire.

Writing in the Times this weekend, Lord Cameron said he remained opposed to any immediate ceasefire, which would be ignored by Hamas terrorists.

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READ MORE: Paul Bristow sacked by Rishi Sunak after calling for ceasefire in Gaza

He said: “We do not believe that calling right now for a general and immediate ceasefire, hoping it somehow becomes permanent, is the way forward.

“Would Hamas stop firing rockets? Would it release the hostages? Would its murderous ideology change? An unsustainable ceasefire, quickly collapsing into further violence, would only make it harder to build the confidence needed for peace.”

The ten Tory rebels include Paul Bristow, who was sacked as a PPS in October for calling for a ceasefire and breaching collective responsibility.

The list also includes senior backbenchers like Kit Malthouse, David Jones, Vicky Ford, George Eustice and Philip Duane.

Their letter claims the situation in Gaza is a “catastrophe of precisely the kind the 1949 Geneva Conventions were supposed to prevent”.

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The ten Tory signatories say they have been privately expressing their “anguish and dismay at the position taken” by the Government.

They also imply Israel is flattening Gaza and massacring innocent Palestinians in pursuit of Hamas.

They said: “Furthermore, it is increasingly clear that the Israeli military strategy is neither proportionate nor targeted, and that there is no serious prospect of success, whatever that might mean.”

The letter is yet to be responded to by Lord Cameron, but it has already come under heavy criticism.

Former MEP Lance Forman described it as “very disappointing” and said he was “surprised” by some of the signatories.

He said: “If you don’t want civilian deaths call on Hamas to surrender, not Israel to defend itself!”

Journalist and broadcaster Benjamin Butterworth demanded to know whether the ten MPs had also sent “the same request to Hamas HQ too”.

Speaking on Sky News last night, Mr Bristow claimed there “are more people in my party who also agree with this” and speculated the number of Tory rebels could double in the next few weeks.

Rishi Sunak has thus far avoided the divisions and splits of Labour on the issue, with a largely united party.

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