UK Leaders Now Joining Calls for Cease Fire

( — UK Labour leader Keir Starmer over the weekend changed his tune somewhat when he called for a lasting ceasefire in Israel’s war against Hamas, the UK Guardian reported.

The war in Gaza has presented a challenge to Starmer’s leadership of the Labour Party. He faced criticism in the weeks following the October 7 terror attacks for his strong defense of Israel’s military response.

His position as leader suffered a blow in November when dozens of Labour MPs defied him to vote for a Scottish National Party motion calling for an immediate ceasefire.

With Labour leading the polls ahead of the election later this year, Starmer is seeking to present a united front. However, the ongoing war in Gaza has created difficulties for that unity.

Last week, Starmer suspended two candidates who made derogatory comments about Israel during a meeting aimed at persuading candidates upset about Starmer’s position on Israel from leaving the Labour Party.

At the same time, Starmer faced criticism from others who thought he acted too slowly to discipline Rochdale Labour candidate Azhar Ali for accusing Israel of letting the October 7 attacks happen to justify a war in Gaza.

While Labour has so far resisted calling for an immediate ceasefire, instead urging for a sustainable end to hostilities, as the reported death toll in the Gaza Strip grew, so too did the number of Labour MPs calling for a ceasefire.

Labour Parliament members have urged Starmer not to encourage them to vote against a proposed motion by the Scottish National Party for parliament to demand an immediate ceasefire.

The Scottish Labor Party last weekend voted in favor of an immediate ceasefire. However, Starmer has refused to go that far, instead suggesting that Israel and Hamas must work toward an end to hostilities.

While speaking at the Scottish Labour conference in Glasgow over the weekend, Starmer said the fighting in Gaza “must stop now” and warned against Israel’s planned offensive in the southern Gaza city of Rafah.

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