Chaotic debate on Gaza in British Parliament; MLAs fear for their safety

LONDON (AP) — The chaotic debate calling for a ceasefire in Gaza echoed across Britain’s Parliament on Thursday, as the Speaker of the House of Commons faced calls to resign and lawmakers came under pressure from all angles of the issue. Expressed fear for his safety.

After more than six hours of heated debate on Wednesday, the ruling Conservative Party and the Scottish National Party (SNP) refused to participate in the vote on the issue. This gave the largest opposition Labor party a practically null victory in passing its version of a non-binding motion calling for an “immediate and humanitarian” ceasefire without opposition.

Rising tensions over war between Israel and Hamas are behind the parliamentary tug-of-war, with thousands marching in London on Saturday in support of the Palestinian cause and figures showing a rise in the number of anti-Semitic incidents in the United Kingdom. .About 150% last year.

This is reflected in Parliament, where the Gaza issue has been “weaponized”, and some lawmakers think they have to vote a particular way to ensure the safety of themselves and their families, conservative lawmaker Charles Walker said Wednesday. Said in the debate.

The debate began when the SNP tabled a motion calling for an immediate ceasefire, highlighting the devastation caused by Israeli attacks on Gaza. The Labor Party tabled an amendment highlighting the need for Israel to ensure that it never faces further attacks such as those carried out by Hamas on 7 October. The government proposed its own amendment, reiterating its call for an “immediate humanitarian pause” in the fighting.

In an effort to reduce tensions in Parliament, Speaker Lindsay Hoyle intended to allow separate votes on the three motions.

But Hoyle’s carefully constructed compromise collapsed when the government withdrew its motion because Hoyle’s decision departed from Commons traditions, under which he was expected to reject Labour’s amendment. The SNP followed suit and said MPs would no longer have the opportunity to vote on its motion.

The Institute for Government, an independent think tank focused on effective governance in the UK, criticized politicians of all factions for allowing a meaningful debate about Gaza to devolve into “shameful chaos”.

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