Vote on Gaza Ceasefire Causes Mayhem in Britain’s Parliament

Britain’s House of Commons erupted into mayhem on Wednesday when Speaker Lindsay Hoyle broke from parliamentary procedure during a debate on a ceasefire in Gaza.

Debate: The House was supposed to vote on a motion proposed by the opposition Scottish National Party (snp) that called for:

  • An immediate ceasefire
  • The release of all Israeli hostages held by Hamas
  • An “end to the collective punishment of the Palestinian people”

In the lead-up to the vote, Labour Party leader Keir Starmer, who is trying to stand against anti-Semitism, urged his party not to vote for the motion. But many members within the Labour Party fear threats of violence to themselves and their families if they do not support some kind of ceasefire in Gaza.

The Labour Party proposed an alternative motion, calling for an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire” but leaving out the point about punishment of the Palestinian people.

The governing Conservatives also proposed an alternative motion that says an “immediate humanitarian pause” and “moves towards a permanent sustainable” ceasefire are needed.

Mayhem: When Hoyle broke with Parliamentary procedure to allow Labour to amend the motion before the snp could vote on it, snp lawmakers accused the Labour Party of hijacking their motion. Dozens of Conservatives and snp members stormed out of the House.

Threat: According to press reports, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer personally visited Hoyle to ask him to break the rules. With hundreds of protesters outside Parliament, his members of Parliament feared for their safety. Allowing the Labour amendment and blocking the snp would allow the Labour Party to back the motion and avoid being attacked by the mob.

This shift in policy and resulting chaos in Parliament shows how much the government is struggling to appease the influx of people with differing political views in its society.

Learn more: Read “Britain’s Migrant Crisis.”