Pro-Palestine supporters call for two Birmingham MPs to resign
Palestine supporters have called for two Birmingham MPs to resign following the ceasefire vote
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Palestine supporters have called for the resignation of two Birmingham MPs who abstained from voting on the UK Parliament ceasefire amendment.
Keir Starmer was hit by a mass rebellion from his front bench last week over his policy on Israel and Gaza. Ten Labour frontbenchers defied party orders and voted for a ceasefire to the conflict. Shadow ministers, including Birmingham Yardley MP Jess Phillips, Yasmin Qureshi, Afzal Khan and Paula Barker, broke ranks with their party leader and voted for an SNP amendment to the King’s Speech backing a ceasefire.
Following her vote, Ms Phillips quit her role in the Shadow Office team due to the “horror of the situation in Israel and Palestine”. Along with 221 other MPs, Birmingham Ladywood MP and Birmingham Selly Oak MP Steve McCabe abstained in voting for the amendment.
A Palestine supporters group gathered outside of Mr McCabe's office in Selly Oak on Sunday (November 19) calling for his deselection after his decision to abstain from the vote. Police said the protest also entered into the Bullring in the city centre but remained peaceful.
Protesters were due to hold a rally on Saturday (November 18) calling for the resignation of Ms Mahmood following her decision to not vote. A petition has also been set up calling for the Ladywood MP's resignation.
What have the MPs said about the rallies?
BirminghamWorld has contacted both MPs for comment.
Responding to a post on Twitter questioning his decision to abstain from the vote, Mr McCabe said he is 'committed to unified and practical efforts to achieve a cessation of violence & an enduring peace'.
He wrote: "I am totally committed to unified and practical efforts to achieve a cessation of violence & an enduring peace. Last night’s SNP amendment was about a spat between the SNP and Labour in Scotland. Situation is too serious for futile gestures."
In a statement issued about the conflict in October, Ms Mahmood said: "As with many of my constituents, I have been deeply affected by the violence and tragic loss of innocent lives in Israel and Palestine.
"I unequivocally condemn the despicable actions of Hamas, who targeted innocent Israeli civilians. The hostages must be returned. These atrocities were committed by terrorists who do not seek peace and have set back the just cause of Palestinian freedom and statehood, which I have supported my whole life.
"I am horrified by the scenes coming out of Gaza, where innocent people are living in terror as war rages between Israel and Hamas. It is important that there is a clear distinction between a terrorist group and the innocent civilians in Gaza, who do not deserve collective punishment. It is clear that a humanitarian crisis is unfolding in Gaza and Israel has a duty, under international humanitarian law, to ensure access to food, water, medicines and electricity.
"I am deeply concerned by reports of rising incidents of antisemitism and Islamophobia in the UK during the last week. We must never allow hatred to flourish. I know our local community and I am appealing to everyone to stand together in the pursuit of peace. We must extend an arm of friendship to neighbours and across all faiths.
"We must all work towards the ultimate aim of long-lasting peace with a prosperous and sovereign Palestine alongside a safe and secure Israel."