More than 30 MPs sign no confidence motion against Lindsay Hoyle

Thirty-three Conservative and SNP MPs have signed a motion of no confidence in Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the Commons Speaker, in a protest against his handling of a debate on a ceasefire in Gaza.

Sir Lindsay was forced to repeatedly apologise after Tory and SNP backbenchers walked out of the Commons and Penny Mordaunt, the Commons leader, accused him of having “undermined the confidence” of the House.

Ms Mordaunt withdrew a Government amendment after the Speaker took the highly unusual step of selecting both a Labour amendment as well the Government amendment to an SNP motion calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

Sir Lindsay returned to the House to tell MPs: “I am honest to this House, I am true to this House, I believe in all members of this House and I have tried to do what I thought was the right thing for all sides of this House. It is regrettable and I apologise for the decision that didn’t end up in the place that I wished for.”

The early day motion has been tabled by Will Wragg, the chairman of the public administration and accounts committee and a vice-chairman of the 1922 Committee of backbenchers.

Amid the chaos, Labour’s amendment calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza was approved.

You can recap a dramatic day in Westminster below and join the conversation in the comments section here

09:00 PM GMT

That's all for tonight...

Thank you for joining my colleague Jack Maidment and I on a chaotic day in Westminster which ended with Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the Commons Speaker, fighting for his political career.

Sir Lindsay shocked SNP and Conservatives MPs to break with convention and allow Labour to table its own amendment to an SNP motion on a ceasefire in Gaza.

Thirty-three MPs have now signed an early day motion of no confidence in Sir Lindsay in the wake of fury from Penny Mordaunt, the Commons leader, and even some Labour backbenchers questioning whether the Speaker can stay on.

My colleague Jack Maidment will be back tomorrow to guide you through what will be another dramatic day in Westminster.

08:47 PM GMT

Former immigration minister: Parliament can't yield to extremism

08:43 PM GMT

The scene outside Westminster during Commons chaos

The message 'Stop bombs' was projected onto the Elizabeth Tower this evening as hundreds of pro-Palestine protesters gathered outside Parliament
The message 'Stop bombs' was projected onto the Elizabeth Tower this evening as hundreds of pro-Palestine protesters gathered outside Parliament - Henry Nicholls/AP

08:40 PM GMT

Shadow defence secretary: Sir Lindsay Hoyle was rightly playing his role

John Healey, the shadow defence secretary, told BBC News: “We showed Westminster at its worst descending into a row about procedure, with a boycott by Conservatives, with a walkout from the SNP and this has done nothing to help the Palestinians, it’s done nothing to help the cause of peace.”

Mr Healey added of Sir Lindsay Hoyle: “The Speaker was rightly playing his role. He’s there to protect the rights of all MPs, he was wanting to ensure the widest possible debate and he wanted to make sure the main prangs or propositions from Labour, the Conservatives and the SNP, the three main parties, all had the chance to be put to the vote.

“And he’s quite right. The rules that he has to work in are outdated, they require a view, he’s asked the procedure committee to do that, and as MPs we should have respected that process instead of allowing this to become a chaotic row about procedure.”

08:32 PM GMT

'I've never been so embarrassed to be an MP'

Charlotte Nichols, the Labour MP for Warrington North, said in a Facebook post:

I’ve never been so embarrassed to be an MP as I am tonight, watching the scenes in Parliament as it descended into absolute chaos.

I had intended to vote for the Labour amendment tonight. In the expectation that would fall when the Government voted against it, I was then prepared to vote for the substantive SNP motion (imperfect though it was) because I truly believe we need an immediate ceasefire.

I don’t care which party the motion or amendment was from, and would have broken the whip to support it if necessary. The important thing was seeking support for a ceasefire from Parliament today.

A lot will be said about tonight in the coming days but from where I’m sitting, I just think this session of Parliament has run its course. I honestly don’t know where we go from here.

08:28 PM GMT

The MPs who have signed the no confidence motion

08:12 PM GMT

Breaking: 33 MPs sign no confidence motion in Sir Lindsay Hoyle

33 Tory and SNP MPs have signed a no confidence motion in Sir Lindsay Hoyle.

07:45 PM GMT

After all that, Labour's amendment passed

Labour’s amendment calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza was approved by the Commons amid chaotic scenes.

The amendment calls for “an immediate stop to the fighting”, but says that can only happen if Hamas stops all violence.

The wording did not go as far as an SNP motion, backed by many Left-wing MPs, which did not include any such caveats.

Labour’s proposal calls for “an immediate stop to the fighting and a ceasefire that lasts and is observed by all sides” and also “supports diplomatic mediation efforts to achieve a lasting ceasefire”.

07:39 PM GMT

Lib Dem leader: I still have confidence in Sir Lindsay Hoyle

Sir Ed Davey said that he still had confidence in Sir Lindsay Hoyle, writes Genevieve Holl-Allen.

He told The Telegraph: “I have confidence in him. He’s been a good Speaker I think.”

He added that there had been “shenanigans” in the Commons, accusing some parties of playing “appalling political games when we have such a serious issue”.

He described the SNP as “vociferous” over the course of the afternoon and said he had “liked” the idea of multiple amendments being heard.

” I think it’s important in procedures of the House that different voices and different positions are heard and allowed to be voted on, rather than just one.”

07:38 PM GMT

SNP: We were 'stitched up' by the Speaker

Stephen Flynn, the SNP’s leader at Westminster, has said his party was “stitched up” by Sir Lindsay Hoyle’s actions, writes my colleague Lauren Shirreff.

“I want to start by apologising to people at home because what we were here to do today was vote on an SNP motion calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza,” he told Sky.

Mr Flynn said Westminster had “turned it into a matter about Westminster, and what a circus this is”.

“Thanks to the actions of the speaker of the House of Commons, the SNP has been stitched up to the point that the labour party were the only game in town today.”

He added that Sir Lindsay was “going to have to convince me that his position is no longer intolerable”.

07:33 PM GMT

'Liberal democracy fails if this is tolerated'

Baron Wolfson, a former Tory minister, wrote on X: “So the Speaker took his exceptional decision because of real threats to the safety of MPs, their families and staff.

“The old rule is proved yet again: what starts with the Jews, never ends with the Jews. Perhaps we can now, finally, stand up to those who threaten our democracy.”

Responding, Lord Walney, Rishi Sunak’s adviser on political violence, said: “This is the essential point. Our parliament cannot stand by and allow its proceedings to be influenced by a sense of threat posed to elected representatives from an angry mob gathered outside.

“Liberal democracy fails if this is tolerated.”

07:32 PM GMT

SNP have totally overreacted, say Lib Dems

Sir Ed Davey has accused the SNP of a “total” overreaction to the Speaker’s decision to allow the Labour amendment, writes Genevieve Holl-Allen.

He told The Telegraph: “These things happen. And the question is, what were the motives behind the Speaker? I think in issues so sensitive, to make sure [it was] a reasonable position for him to take.

“He’s the Speaker he is able to take that and there’s a huge danger in all this that we forget what we are debating.”

When asked whether he thought there had been a slight overreaction from the SNP, he replied: “Total, total.”

07:30 PM GMT

Wes Streeting: Commons has voted for an immediate ceasefire

Wes Streeting, the shadow health secretary, wrote on X, formerly Twitter: “Amidst this farce, the House of Commons voted for an immediate ceasefire, the release of hostages, international aid and the recognition of a Palestinian state.

“Everything else is parliamentary theatrics and partisan noise.”

07:29 PM GMT

'How can we expect people to lay down arms if we can’t lay down words?'

Jess Phillips, a Labour MP and frontbencher, said today in the Commons had been a “disgrace”.

She told Sky News: “How can we expect people to lay down arms if we can’t lay down words?”

07:28 PM GMT

The moment Sir Lindsay Hoyle apologised

07:28 PM GMT

Commons moves to adjournment debate

That was a staggering and chaotic debate in the Commons, which has now moved on to an unrelated adjournment debate.

07:25 PM GMT

The Commons has now moved on to a petition

An SNP MP is now presenting a petition calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

07:24 PM GMT

Liberal Democrats: This turned into an embarrassing row

Sir Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrat leader, doubled down on his calls for an “immediate bilateral ceasefire”.

“Today’s debate should have been about Parliament coming together with one voice on this horrific conflict. Instead it’s turned into an embarrassing row about the selection of amendments,” Sir Ed said.

“A ceasefire is urgently needed so that there is time to facilitate the delivery of aid into Gaza, the opportunity to release the hostages, and provide space to intensify diplomacy so that Hamas is out of Gaza, a two state solution is agreed and a lasting peace.”

07:23 PM GMT

Deputy Speaker heckled by MPs

Dame Rosie Winterton, the Deputy Speaker, is heckled by MPs as she says she is going to move on from points of order after taking a final contribution.

Marion Fellows, a SNP MP, says she called for a ceasefire in October after the “heinous” attacks by Hamas.

“I carry five proxy votes and today I have not been allowed to vote for myself or the five proxy votes that I hold,” she adds. She asks how her vote can be recorded.

Dame Rosie responds: “The honourable lady has made very clear what she would have done.”

07:20 PM GMT

Labour MP: I cannot be alone in being embarrassed

Sarah Owen, a Labour MP, says: “I cannot be alone in being embarrassed at how members have conducted themselves, particularly on the Government benches and I’m going to continue to be shouted down by them.

“As a perfect example, on an issue so serious as we have heard today... I am asking for clarification because there are people in this chamber who clearly aren’t aware of the rules and what’s going on.”

07:15 PM GMT

The moment MPs stormed out of the Commons

07:14 PM GMT

Stephen Flynn asks whether Hoyle's position is intolerable

Stephen Flynn, the SNP leader at Westminster, said he acknowledged Sir Lindsay Hoyle’s apology but added: “The reality is you were warned by the clerks of the House that your decision could lead to the SNP not having a vote on our very own Opposition Day.

“As a result we have seen the SNP Opposition Day turn into a Labour Party Opposition Day. I am afraid that that is treating myself and my colleagues in the Scottish National Party with complete and utter contempt and I will take significant convincing that your position is not now intolerable.”

07:12 PM GMT

Sir Lindsay Hoyle: This is not what I wanted, it's where I am

Penny Mordaunt, the Commons Leader, thanks Sir Lindsay Hoyle for his apology.

“You’re our Speaker and we wish you to defend the rights of all members of this House and I thank you for recommitting yourself to those responsibilities today and coming to the floor of the House.”

Sir Lindsay responds: “That is why I tried to do that in the first place. It ended up in the first place. And I do say I apologise to all, and in particular to the SNP. And I say it’s not what I wanted, it is where I am.

“I will now leave it at that for the moment.”

07:11 PM GMT

Sir Lindsay Hoyle: I apologise for how it's ended up

Sir Lindsay Hoyle continues: “I will meet with the leaders and with the Chief Whips and let us have this discussion on what is the best way forward to try and ensure... And I say again I thought I was doing the right thing and the best thing.

“And I regret it, and I apologise for how it’s ended up. I do take responsibility for my actions and that’s why I want to meet with the key players who have been involved.”

07:09 PM GMT

Breaking: Sir Lindsay Hoyle apologises

Sir Lindsay Hoyle tells MPs: “I am honest to this House, I am true to this House, I believe in all members of this House and I have tried to do what I thought was the right thing for all sides of this House.

“It is regrettable and I apologise for the decision that didn’t end up in the place that I wished for.”

07:08 PM GMT

Sir Lindsay Hoyle returns to Speaker's chair

Sir Lindsay Hoyle is back in his chair, replacing Dame Rosie Winterton.

“I wish to respond to the point of order. Today’s debate was exceptional in its intensity, with which all parties wished to secure a vote on their own propositions. It took the decisions which were intended to allow the House the widest range of propositions on which to express a view.

“I wanted to do the best, and it was my wish, to do the best by every member of this House. The danger is that’s why I wanted everyone to be able to express... Because I am very, very concerned about the security of all members.

“I was very concerned, I am still concerned and that’s why the meetings I’ve had today [were] about the security of members, their families, and the people that are involved. And I’ve got to say I regret how it’s ended up. But it was not my intention.

“I wanted all to ensure they could express their views, and all sides of the House could vote. As it was in particular the SNP were ultimately unable to vote on their proposition. I regret with my sadness that it’s ended up in this position. It was never my intention to end up like this. I was absolutely convinced that the decision was done with the right intentions. I recognise the strength of feeling of members on this issue.

“Clearly today has not shown the House at its best. I will reflect on my part in that, but I recommit to making sure that all members of this House are treated fairly. I do not want it to have ended like this. I want to say to the House I will meet with all the key players of each key party. I think it is right that I meet with each one.”

Sir Lindsay says he is “offended” by a suggestion he met with Sue Gray, Sir Keir Starmer’s chief of staff.

07:03 PM GMT

Commons rejects motion to sit 'in private'

MPs have rejected a motion tabled William Wragg, a Tory MP, to sit ‘in private’.

07:02 PM GMT

Sir Lindsay Hoyle is back in the chamber

It has been quite a day for Sir Lindsay Hoyle.

06:58 PM GMT

SNP MPs gather around their Westminster leader

A group of at least six SNP MPs gathered around leader Stephen Flynn in the members’ lobby, as he quietly muttered to his fellow MPs, Genevieve Holl-Allen reports from the Commons.

06:57 PM GMT

What does it mean for the Commons to sit 'in private'?

If the Commons sits ‘in private’, which MPs are currently voting on, it means that Hansard is not produced and the public and press galleries are cleared.

Erskine May, the guide to parliamentary procedure, says: “Sittings in private in peacetime are extremely unusual; the last two occasions on which the House sat in private were 18 November 1958 and 4 December 2001.”

The House last sat in private in 2001 to debate the Anti Terrorism, Crime and Security Bill.

This is a further sign of just how extraordinary tonight’s scenes in the Commons are.

06:54 PM GMT

Analysis: A mess that does the Commons no favours

Today’s Opposition Day debate and votes on the Israel-Gaza conflict were always going to be heated.

But the day has descended from lively discussion about what a ceasefire could look like to a highly charged and politicised debacle.

Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the Commons Speaker, extraordinarily managed to unite the Conservative and SNP benches as he broke with convention to accept a Labour amendment, as well as a Government one.

Penny Mordaunt, the Commons Leader, responded by withdrawing the latter, prompting fury from the SNP and walkouts from both Tory and SNP parliamentarians.

Where this evening goes now is anyone’s guess. But on a day that was supposed to have focused on such a serious issue, it is not a good look for the Commons - and raises questions about Sir Lindsay’s political future.

06:46 PM GMT

Starmer and Reeves enter the Commons

Sir Keir Starmer has just entered the Commons along with Rachel Reeves, standing at the side of the benches, writes our Political Reporter Genevieve Holl-Allen.

06:45 PM GMT

Spare a thought for the Deputy Speaker...

... who has been taking points of order from MPs for more than 40 minutes.

MPs are now voting on whether to sit in private.

Dame Rosie Winterton
Dame Rosie Winterton

06:43 PM GMT

The moment Tory and SNP MPs walked out in protest

Sky News
Sky News

06:41 PM GMT

What a mess

It has been a very long time since the Commons saw quite this level of chaos.

Dame Rosie Winterton, the Deputy Speaker, is shouted down as she calls a division on whether the House may sit in private.

After a cacophony of noise, Dame Rosie says: “We’ll have a division. Division, clear the lobby.”

06:39 PM GMT

'Whips are frightened for their flocks'

Sir Charles Walker, a senior Tory MP, adds: “I don’t know how we got to this point today. It does not reflect well on Parliament. His Majesty’s opposition... People are frightened. People have weaponised this debate in their chamber. Whips are frightened for their flocks because Members of Parliament now feel that they have to vote in a certain way to safeguard their safety and the safety of their family. This is a far bigger issue than the debate we’re having tonight.

“Because if people are changing their votes in this place, or changing their behaviours in this place because they’re frightened of what may happen to them or their families out there, then we have a real problem. So this point scoring off each other is not going to resolve any issues.”

06:38 PM GMT

Sir Chris Bryant: Call a general election now

Sir Chris Bryant says the behaviour of many MPs “will have made a lot of people in this country very nervous” about the Commons’ handling of major issues, adding: “Most significantly, it has been the tradition of the British parliamentary democracy that if a Government loses control of its foreign policy, it has lost control of the House by definition.”

06:34 PM GMT

Stephen Flynn: Where on earth is the Speaker?

06:33 PM GMT

Breaking: SNP and Tory MPs walk out of the Commons

Sir Chris Bryant, a shadow Labour minister, is interrupted as dozens of SNP and Tory MPs walk out.

06:32 PM GMT

SNP: Lindsay Hoyle must come to the Commons and sort this mess out

Dame Rosie Winterton insists that unless there are “very exceptional circumstances”, Opposition Day votes are not binding.

Dame Rosie says: “It is absolutely up to the Government, as to any member of the House, as to whether they vote or don’t vote, it’s their decision.”

Brendan O’Hara, the SNP MP, interjects: “The House and its procedures have descended into absolute chaos and they’ve descended into chaos simply because of a decision taken by the Speaker earlier today.

“Is it too much to ask, Madam Deputy Speaker, that the Speaker is asked to come to this House and explain exactly why he took those decisions, the consequences of those decisions and how he intends to get this House out of the mess that it currently finds itself in? And for what reason would you not suspend the House for the Speaker to come here and sort this mess out?”

06:29 PM GMT

'Where is the Speaker'

Tory MP Dr Matthew Offord asks: “Where is the Speaker?”

Dame Rosie Winterton replies: “You’ll have to make do with me, I know it’s a great disappointment. Mr Speaker will be back in his place tomorrow.”

Dame Angela Eagle, a Labour MP, claims “Opposition Day debates used to be taken seriously by governments”, adding: “Since we’ve had successive Conservative administrations, they have largely ignored Opposition Day debates, they have refused to take part in many of the votes and they have widely ignored the result of those votes that they haven’t taken part in.”

06:27 PM GMT

Deputy Speaker insists 'intolerable pressure' was not put on Sir Lindsay Hoyle

Philip Davies, a Tory MP, claims Sir Lindsay Hoyle was “put under intolerable pressure” to accept the Labour amendment to the SNP motion by senior party figures.

He asks Dame Rosie Winterton: “That was a Labour figure that told [Newsnight editor Nicholas Watt] that. Can you assure the House everything will be done to identify who it was that put that intolerable pressure on the House of Commons Speaker?”

Dame Rosie Winterton urges MPs to “sit down, sit down” and thanks Mr Davies for his point of order.

“That tweet is wrong, and the statement is incorrect, just to reassure him. I know he would want that reassurance.”

Stephen Flynn, the SNP leader at Westminster, asks Dame Rosie to “use the powers I know you have” to suspend the Commons. Dame Rosie replies: “I will not be suspending the House. We need to put these questions. Mr Speaker will be in his place tomorrow.”

06:24 PM GMT

It's chaos at this point

Dame Rosie Winterton is trying to make her points but is being drowned out by MPs.

06:22 PM GMT

Chairman of public accounts committee 'hugely disappointed' in Hoyle

Stephen Flynn, the leader of the SNP at Westminster, asked about “where the Speaker of the House of Commons is” and accused him of allowing an SNP opposition day to turn into a Labour opposition day.

Will Wragg, the Tory chairman of the public accounts and administration committee, said he had supported Sir Lindsay Hoyle “on the basis we were going to have a fresh start”.

“I am hugely disappointed by what has transpired and we are not showing ourselves as a House anywhere near our best or what we are capable of to the country. I wonder if you could advise in the nature of the Early Day Motion tabled in my name and a number of my other colleagues which will appear live at the close of proceedings today...

“If you are aware as to whether those in receipt of Government payroll are by convention eligible to sign such an Early Day Motion?”

Dame Rosie Winterton, the Deputy Speaker, thanked Mr Wragg for his point of order.

06:19 PM GMT

Lucy Powell intervenes as House descends into chaos

Lucy Powell, the shadow leader of the Commons, said the Government “could vote this evening to defeat those amendments” if they did not like them as a result of their majority in the House, “but they have decided now not to, I understand, vote in those debates”.

“Perhaps we have to ask the question whether or not they do still command a majority in this House this evening, or whether they’re trying to hide behind some other reason.

Ms Powell said the Government had “absolutely given up governing” before being shouted down, with Dame Rosie Winterton, the Deputy Speaker, urging members to “think about what they are doing” in their behaviour.

“There are a large number of members on this side of the House who wanted to express their view this evening in being able to vote for a motion in their name, for an amendment in their name. They’re still shouting me down, they have an amendment in their name which they obviously clearly don’t have the numbers to get through this House.”

06:13 PM GMT

Penny Mordaunt makes point of order

Penny Mordaunt, the Commons leader, is making a point of order in the wake of the Sir Lindsay Hoyle row.

I know that the Speaker is a servant of this House and that he takes his responsibilities to us extremely seriously. It is that duty towards us and our rights as members in this place that commands our respect of him. We all have obligations in this place to ensure that all views can be expressed and that individual members and parties of all colours and sizes can have their say.

As a member of the Government benches sometimes that is difficult on Opposition Day debates. Motions are always confected to deliver the greatest possible backlash against members. But we on this side of the House have never asked that the procedures of this side of the House have never been upturned to mitigate against such pressures, even when we have faced extreme abuse.

Mr Speaker has stated in the decision that he has taken today and that he is entitled to take that he wished for all propositions on the Order Paper to be put to the House. However, this decision has raised temperatures in this House on an issue where feelings are already running high and it has put members and right honourable members in a more difficult position.

It also appears from the advice of his clerk that the decision is taken against the long-standing processes and procedures of this House, and the consequences may be that the Government is not able to respond to Opposition Day motions, and as such the Government does not have confidence that it will be able to vote on its own motion. For that reason the Government will play no further part in the decision this House takes in today’s proceedings.

I would like to stress that the Government’s position on Israel and Gaza remains unchanged as my right honourable friend the Prime Minister outlined today. We want to see the fighting in Gaza end as soon as possible, we never again want to see Hamas carry out the appalling terrorist attacks that Israel was subject to and we know that just calling for an immediate ceasefire now that collapses back into fighting in days or weeks is not in anyone’s interests. We will be reiterating the Government’s position via a written ministerial statement.

I fear that this most grave matter that we are discussing today and this afternoon has become a political row within the Labour Party and that, regrettably, Mr Speaker has inserted himself into that row in today’s decision and undermined the confidence of this House in being able to rely on its long-established standing orders to govern its debates. Long-established conventions that should not be impaired by the current view of a weak leader of the opposition and a divided party.

I would ask that the Speaker take the opportunity to reassure all honourable and right honourable members that their Speaker, our Speaker, will not seek to undermine those rights in order to protect the interests of particular members and that future Opposition Day debates will not be hijacked in this way, and I say this for the benefit of all members of this House.

06:01 PM GMT

SNP spokesman: We are here in condemnation of Hamas and Israel

Alison Thewliss, the SNP foreign affairs spokesman, has began the wind-ups.

“We are here today in condemnation of the atrocities committed against innocent people in Israel by Hamas on Oct 7. We are here today in condemnation of the atrocities committed by Israel against innocent people in Gaza on every day since,” Ms Thewliss said.

“A pause is not enough. Filling the bellies of starving wombs one day just to bomb them the next is not acceptable.”

05:57 PM GMT

Labour MP addresses pro-Palestine rally outside Parliament

Bell Ribeiro-Addy, the Labour MP for Streatham, has been addressing the pro-Palestine rally outside Parliament, writes Lauren Shirreff.

“You’ve seen many of them have been on the margins with you. I’ve heard you chanting ‘no ceasefire, no vote’. The British public have made it absolutely clear that they want a ceasefire now.”

Ms Ribeiro-Addy said “every single country has the right to defend itself” before repeating a claim the average age of civilians in Gaza was five years old,

“We want an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza,” she concluded.

The crowd went on to chant “Rishi Sunak, what do you say, how many kids have you killed today?” before repeating the same chant about Lord Cameron and Sir Keir Starmer.

05:46 PM GMT

Hundreds gather in Parliament Squaer to demand ceasefire

Hundreds of people have assembled at Parliament Square to protest ahead of a vote to call for an ceasefire in Gaza, writes my colleague Lauren Shirreff.

A road was shut down near Parliament, where protesters are now stood wearing keffiyehs and waving Palestine flags.


Between speeches people shouted “free, free Palestine” and cheered on comments from speakers.

Andrew Feinstein, a pro-Palestine activist running against Keir Starmer at the next general election, was met with cheers after claiming that voters wanted a ceasefire “from Oct 7”.

05:42 PM GMT

Jeremy Corbyn: Stop sending arms to Israel

Jeremy Corbyn, a former Labour leader, said the Commons “has not covered itself in glory today”.

He told MPs: “29,000 bombs have been dropped on Gaza by the Israeli forces. By comparison the US only dropped 4,000 bombs on Iraq during five years of that particular conflict. What we’re seeing is the total destruction of society, life and hope in Gaza.

“I keep meeting Palestinian people who tell me how many of their relatives have been killed in Gaza. Our good friend Husam Zomlot, the Palestinian ambassador, has lost 100 members of his wider family in this conflict...

“We are sending arms, not aid, we should be sending all the support we can. The best support we can give is to stop the arms trade with Israel, end the battle in Gaza at the moment and bring about peace and hope for the Palestinian people.”

05:37 PM GMT

Votes expected from 6.10pm this evening

Nigel Evans, a Deputy Speaker, just told the Commons wind-up comments are expected from 5.50pm, with votes from 6.10pm.

05:34 PM GMT

'Get off the fence and be on the right side of history'

Tahir Ali, a Labour backbencher, said any commitment to a two-state solution “must be matched” by actions, urging the Government to work towards releasing the hostages, call for an immediate ceasefire and recognise a viable Palestinian state:

What I need to say to this Government is get off the fence and be on the right side of history.

The Government must end the sale of all arms to Israel, weapons that are being used to kill innocent Palestinians.

Finally in making these demands I’m not speaking here for myself. Over 10,000 constituents in Birmingham Hall Green have written to me recently calling for a ceasefire for the recognition of a Palestinian state and for the ending of the arms trade to Israel. Never have I witnessed such passionate advocacy on any issue by the people of Birmingham Hall Green and I’m proud to be their voice and their vote on this issue.

05:28 PM GMT

Richard Burgon: Government's refusal to back ceasefire is shameful

Richard Burgon, a Labour MP and former shadow cabinet minister, said “many of us will never look at the world in the same way again” in the wake of the Israel-Gaza conflict.

Mr Burgon said the Commons had previously “failed” in refusing to back a ceasefire, adding: “The priority for all of us must be to do anything possible in our power to stop the loss of any more lives.

“It’s shameful that our Government has repeatedly refused to support [a ceasefire].”

05:26 PM GMT

'Shameful': The moment Sir Lindsay Hoyle was heckled for breaking with Commons precedent

05:24 PM GMT

Christian Wakeford: Oct 7 must never be repeated as a condition of ceasefire

Christian Wakeford, a Labour whip, recalled being told by a survivor of the Oct 7 attacks that “she had lost so many friends over those few bloody hours that she had to choose which of those funerals to attend”.

“We urgently need an end to the fighting and a permanent and sustainable ceasefire in Gaza, but that requires the perpetrators of Oct 7 to be disarmed, that they have no part in the governance of Gaza and that they can never again, as they have repeatedly pledged to do so, repeat the horrific crimes that were committed against Israeli men, women and children nearly 140 days ago.”

Mr Wakeford went on to insist hostages must also be released.

05:20 PM GMT

'I agree with the British people that the violence must stop'

Kit Malthouse, a former Tory education secretary, said there “could be no military victory over Hamas” as he accused MPs of becoming engaged in a battle of “semantics” over a ceasefire.

Mr Malthouse said: “The British people think our moral compass is spinning in this House, that we have no clue what we are doing anymore, and yet they see the bodies of shrivelled children coming across the media pretty much every day.

“They want three simple things. They want the killing to stop of Palestinians and Israelis. They want the hostages to be returned, and they want aid to flow into Gaza. And our job as backbenchers is to vote for the outcome we want to see... I agree with the British people that the violence must stop.

“It is time for the bloodshed to stop and for the talking to begin and in this House and this country we must do what we can to make that so.”

05:07 PM GMT

Labour backbencher: Why are Palestinians being denied humanity?

Apsana Begum, a Left-wing Labour backbencher, said “benchmarks of humanity” must not be allowed to be eroded in Gaza.

“I come to the chilling and shocking disregard for Palestinian life, the dehumanisation, the racism that we have witnessed across much of the mainstream UK political establishment.

“Any expression of Palestinian identity has all too often been deemed unacceptable over the recent period and much before. I am shocked by this, there are members from all sides of the House who are shocked by this, my constituents are shocked by this, the general public are shocked by this, countries all over the world is shocked by this.

“And yet the US continues to use its power along with the UK to ensure that this nightmare continues. It’s utterly shocking and it will never, ever be forgotten. Why are Palestinians being treated differently and denied any sense of humanity? I will be voting for a ceasefire again tonight and I will continue to do so until the horror of what is happening stop, and urge others to do the same.”

05:01 PM GMT

Ian Blackford: 'Let's stand united' in calling for ceasefire

Ian Blackford, an SNP MP and the party’s former leader at Westminster, told the Commons: “Today is the day we must come together. Let’s stand united.

“Let’s say no more should innocent civilians lose their lives in Gaza. Let’s make sure today is one that this House can be proud of.”

04:58 PM GMT

Toby Perkins: 'Really important' to support immediate ceasefire

Toby Perkins, the MP for Chesterfield and a shadow minister, said it is “really important” to draw a distinction between the Labour motion and the Government’s motion.

“I hope all those people who’ve spoken powerfully in this debate on all sides for an immediate ceasefire will support Labour’s motion for an immediate ceasefire.”

04:56 PM GMT

Labour MP: My name was added to Gaza amendent 'without my consent'

Labour backbencher Ian Lavery has claimed his name was added to Labour’s amendment to the Gaza ceasefire motion “without my consent”.

Mr Lavery wrote on X: “I have been informed that my name has been published supporting Labour’s amendment to today’s motion on a ceasefire in Gaza.

“I want to clarify that this has been done without my consent and that I have contacted the relevant offices to explore how this has occurred.”

04:37 PM GMT

Tory MP: I can't keep towing party line on Gaza

Mark Logan, the Tory MP for Bolton North East, said “playing around with words is just playing around with people’s lives”.

“Israel has gone too far. It’s disproportionate, it’s not gone too far just today, it’s gone too far already for months. I’m concerned about Rafah... There have been members of my own House that have talked about this being merely symbolic or virtue-signalling.

“But we’re MPs not to fix potholes, we’re not MPs not to follow up if a next door neighbour’s hedge has grown into my garden, that’s not what we’re here for. We’re here to protect lives, and this is the opportunity today to call for an immediate ceasefire.

“It may be signalling to an extent but that signal has to be given to Israel, one of our close allies in the region, and that has to happen today... The better friend says no, this must stop now.

“I no longer in good conscience can carry on backing the line that we have taken on this side of the House, regrettably. I don’t see what favours this does for Israel.”

04:30 PM GMT

SNP MP: We are turning a blind eye to genocide

Steven Bonnar, an SNP MP, said the Commons was “being asked to turn a blind eye to genocide”.

“Genocide, that is what is happening in Israel and Palestine... Communities are being decimated, never to return, before our very eyes.”

04:29 PM GMT

Miriam Cates: Benjamin Netanyahu is not listening to this debate

Backbench Conservative MP Miriam Cates told the Commons that the war in Gaza was “devastating, tragic, appalling” but also “unavoidable because of the Oct 7 massacre”.

Ms Cates said: “There simply is no other way to keep Israelis safe than to destroy Hamas. We might wish it was otherwise but this is the reality of the situation. We are all appalled by the losses of life, both in Israel and Gaza.

“To call for an unconditional ceasefire now shows I’m afraid a naive judgment of the situation on the ground. There is no moral equivalence to a bunch of murderous terrorists and rapists, attacking civilians with glee for the sole purpose of inflicting evil, and a nation state using conventional forces to root out a dangerous enemy, however much we may criticise their tactics. For Hamas the civilian deaths, including those of Palestinians, are the point.”

Ms Cates added that Hamas “bears responsibility for all deaths in this conflict”, adding: “I would ask those who are calling for an unconditional ceasefire now, do they not want Hamas to be destroyed? Why aren’t they calling for unconditional ceasefires in other conflicts?

“I’m afraid to say Benjamin Netanyahu is not listening to this debate, it will not change the outcome on the ground. Now I do understand that MPs are facing extreme pressure, they’re facing threats and I feel particularly for colleagues on the other side of the House, but we can’t allow those threats to influence our democracy, to influence our speech in here...

“Those demanding a ceasefire tonight will not stop at that. They will call for boycotts of Israel, an arms embargo... Yet again, Israel is being singled out as the world’s only Jewish state, it’s being exceptionalised, we’re seeing the rise of anti-Semitism here on the streets of the UK. We cannot afford to give into that pressure, we must respect Israel’s right to defend itself and prevent the most atrocious crimes that have ever happened in my lifetime from ever happening again.”

04:24 PM GMT

'An immediate ceasefire must come, justice must be done, and peace must be won'

Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, a former Labour shadow minister, said it was in the UK’s “strong national interest” to secure a two-state solution.

“Yes we need a peace process, yes the hostages must be freed, yes the wheels of international humanitarian law must turn and yes the Palestinian people must have been a recognised state.

“But first, today, this minute, now, we must have an immediate ceasefire to save thousands of lives... Today let us say clearly that an immediate ceasefire must come, justice must be done, and peace must be won.”

04:18 PM GMT

DUP MP compares SNP motion to Holocaust denial

Ian Paisley, the DUP MP, was condemned by SNP MPs for “utterly vile” remarks as he appeared to conflate the SNP motion’s omission of the Oct 7 attacks with the denial of the Holocaust.

“We are being asked for a motion that does not contain any word about the rape of the women, the murder of the children, the unjustifiable attack. It’s as if it didn’t happen.

“It’s as if it was invisible, it’s as if, like other people in the 20th century denied things that happened to Israel and to Jewish people, that’s what we’re seeing tonight, the denial of an attack on Israel.

“The tragedy of the thousands of Palestinian civilians and casualties in Gaza is the moral responsibility of Hamas, just as the Israeli casualties are the moral responsibility and actual responsibility of Hamas.”

An SNP MP raised a point of order to say it was an “absolute disgrace” that he had been called an “anti-Semite” during a commotion in the seconds following Mr Paisley’s speech.

04:12 PM GMT

Hamas 'very unlikely' to commit to a ceasefire

An immediate, permanent ceasefire would amount to Israel surrendering to Hamas in practice, Tory MPs have warned.

Theresa Villiers, a former minister, said: “I know that every single one of us in this House, in this chamber, wants the fighting to stop and the fighting to come to an end. Loss of civilian life is always a tragedy, no matter what the justification for the military action that leads to it.

“Demanding an immediate ceasefire, I’m afraid, amounts to asking Israel unilaterally to lay down its arms while its hostages remain in peril and Hamas remain in power.”

Steve Double added that a ceasefire “has to be an agreement between both sides and unless Hamas agree to lay down their weapons and agree to keep a ceasefire, then a ceasefire becomes effectively Israel surrendering.”

“We all know that Hamas are very unlikely to do that. There was a ceasefire on Oct 6, and Hamas broke it with the most despicable action killing 1,200 Israelis and the most despicable gender violence with sexual assault and rape.”

04:10 PM GMT

Tobias Ellwood: Shame on us for failing to find common ground

Today marks a “very sad day for Parliament”, Tobias Ellwood has said as he condemned the tone of the debate on the Israel-Gaza debate.

Mr Ellwood, a Tory backbencher and former defence minister, said: “As the nation and indeed beyond watches on, it’s been a very sad day for Parliament indeed. Rather than offer clarity on Parliament’s position, speaking with one voice as we seek to end the fighting, there are not one but three separate motions as this debate turns into political football. Shame on us for failing to find common ground.

“What a wasted opportunity to exhibit UK leadership and resolve in seeking to get clearer, closer, to the very objective that we came here to debate. It is a reflection on how fragmented and polarised our world has become… No single organisation including the United Nations in now in control of events unfolding in the Middle East.

“Shouting ‘ceasefire, ceasefire’ alone, unconditionally will not change anything. Surely with our statecraft and our influence and our community power we should be doing so much more. A ceasefire is a contract agreed between two sides. It begins with a cessation of hostilities that allows space for other activities to take place and allows plans to advance. Neither Israel or Hamas is in the place yet to enforce that.

“From here it is easy to shout those words, ‘let’s have a ceasefire’. It’s harder to implement that in practice. But Britain has an important, persuasive, active role to play on the international stage. What we’ve done today is illustrate how much more we need to learn, how we need to elevate our calibration of our debate… I recommend all three parties get together so we can come back to the House and gather a unified statement.”

03:58 PM GMT

SNP MP says Hoyle's decision will 'come back to haunt him'

Pete Wishart, an SNP MP, said Sir Lindsay Hoyle’s decision to break with precedent and select Labour’s Gaza amendment will “come back to haunt him”.

He tweeted: “Absolutely ridiculous ruling from the Speaker. He has totally lost it and this will come back to haunt him. He talks about ‘precedent’ but this has practically never happened.”

Mr Wishart claimed Sir Lindsay had “changed Commons precedent to save Labour an embarrassing rebellion”.

03:54 PM GMT

Government trying to 'forge a common path' on Gaza, says minister

Andrew Mitchell, the international development minister, urged MPs across the Commons to back the Government’s amendment to the Gaza ceasefire vote.

Appealing to Labour directly, Mr Mitchell told MPs: “I submit that the right thing to do tonight is to support the Government’s motion. The Opposition has been very supportive in the past.”

He described the Government’s amendment as “very carefully crafted”, and said it “ought to carry the vast number of Members as the Government seeks in this incredibly difficult situation to forge a common path and a common purpose to a change in what we are seeing today”.

03:50 PM GMT

Conservative MPs criticise Hoyle: ‘Probably marks the beginning of the end for him’

Many Conservative MPs are furious at Sir Lindsay Hoyle’s decision to select Labour’s Gaza amendment.

One Tory MP said: “This is an extraordinary decision by the Speaker and probably marks the beginning of the end for him.”

Another said: “This raises serious questions about the impartiality of the Speaker. This is without precedent.”

03:32 PM GMT

'A significant departure from precedent,' says Tory MP in response to Hoyle's approach

Dame Jackie Doyle-Price, a Tory MP, said Sir Lindsay Hoyle’s approach on selecting amendments represented a “significant departure from precedent”.

She tweeted: “Not a marginal judgment call. This is the SNPs opposition day. A vote on a Labour amendment ahead of a Government one in these circumstances is a significant departure from precedent and has implications for management of house business.”

03:23 PM GMT

Tory MP accuses Hoyle of sparking 'constitutional crisis'

Sir Michael Fabricant claimed Sir Lindsay Hoyle’s handling of today’s Gaza debate had caused a “constitutional crisis”.

He tweeted: “The Speaker’s decision to break with House of Commons rules and The Clerk of the House issuing a rebuttal is unprecedented and causing a constitutional crisis remarkably uniting the Conservatives and the SNP.”

03:21 PM GMT

Tory MP tables motion of no confidence in Hoyle amid fury over handling of Gaza debate

A Tory MP has tabled a motion of no confidence in Sir Lindsay Hoyle amid a furious row over the Commons Speaker’s handling of today’s Gaza ceasefire debate.

William Wragg has submitted an Early Day Motion which reportedly states: “This House has no confidence in Mr Speaker”.

Early Day Motions are used by MPs to put on record their views on specific subjects. They can be used to show the level of support for something but do not trigger any formal process.

The Commons Speaker today took the highly unusual step of selecting both a Labour amendment and a Government amendment to an SNP motion calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

The decision means that MPs will vote on the Labour and Government amendments as well as the original SNP motion.

The decision to select the Labour amendment was greeted in the Commons by Tory cries of “shameful” and “bring back Bercow”. A Conservative MP could be heard to mutter that the Commons Speaker was “moving the goalposts”.

Sir Lindsay said he wanted MPs to have the “widest possible range” of options in the Gaza ceasefire debate because of its importance.

02:45 PM GMT

Commons clerk told Hoyle he was not following 'long-established conventions'

The Clerk of the House of Commons told Sir Lindsay Hoyle that he was not following “long-established conventions” in his handling of today’s Gaza debate.

Tom Goldsmith wrote a letter to Sir Lindsay setting out his concerns about the selection of amendments.

He wrote: “I am today exercising the opportunity to place on record my view that the decision to allow an official opposition spokesperson to speak and to move an amendment before a Government minister in response to an SNP spokesperson moving their opposition day motion represents a departure from the long-established convention for dealing with such amendments on opposition days…”

Mr Goldsmith said he recognised Sir Lindsay’s decision was “not specifically precluded by any Standing Order” and the Speaker has “complete discretion regarding the order in which to call Members to speak”.

But he added: “Nevertheless, I know that you understand why I feel compelled to point out that long-established conventions are not being followed in this case.”

Mr Goldsmith’s letter is below, courtesy of Jack Elsom from The Sun:

02:39 PM GMT

Pictured: Pro-Palestinian activists protest outside Labour HQ in London

Pro-Palestinian activists from London for a Free Palestine wearing masks featuring images of Sir Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner protest opposite the headquarters of the Labour Party in London
Pro-Palestinian activists from London for a Free Palestine wearing masks featuring images of Sir Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner protest opposite the headquarters of the Labour Party in London - Mark Kerrison /Alamy Live News

02:29 PM GMT

Lammy urges Commons to 'come together' and back Labour amendment

David Lammy, the shadow foreign secretary, said he hoped the Commons could “come together with clarity and a unity of purpose” to support Labour’s Gaza ceasefire amendment.

He told MPs: “There are times when this House can come together with clarity and a unity of purpose and I hope that this can be one of those moments.

“It is with pain an sadness that this House gathers here today, the pain and sadness of war that has gone on too long.”

Mr Lammy said a potential Israeli offensive in Rafah at the southern tip of Gaza “must not happen”.

02:19 PM GMT

Tory MPs question Hoyle’s ‘impartiality’ after amendment decision

Sir Lindsay Hoyle’s decision to break with precedent and select Labour’s amendment on Gaza has infuriated Tory MPs, writes Nick Gutteridge. 

Senior Conservatives have said the move has brought his impartiality into doubt and suggested he had succumbed to Labour pressure.

One Tory MP said of the extraordinary decision: “This raises serious questions about the impartiality of the Speaker. This is without precedent.”

A Conservative source said many MPs had long suspected Sir Lindsay was being “favourable to Labour under threat” of losing his job later this year if Labour win the election.

02:09 PM GMT

Votes on Gaza ceasefire likely to take place at 7pm

A second opposition day debate from the SNP which had been scheduled for later today has been cancelled.

Opposition days are often broken up into two parts. But the SNP’s planned debate on green energy has been shelved.

That means that the Gaza debate is likely to run until 7pm when the votes will then take place.

02:02 PM GMT

SNP: 'Immediate and pressing need for immediate ceasefire'

There is an “immediate and pressing need for an immediate ceasefire” in Gaza as an “essential first step” to a “lasting and just peace”, SNP foreign affairs spokesperson Brendan O’Hara told the Commons.

Opening a debate on his party’s motion calling for a ceasefire in Gaza, he said his party wanted to see “an immediate ceasefire in Gaza from all combatants”, that he unequivocally condemns the Hamas attack of October 7, and repeated a call for the “the immediate release of all hostages and to see those involved in those atrocities called to account for their actions”.

He said: “The war in Gaza is one of the great defining moments of our time, yet until today this House has not been given the opportunity to debate both the unfolding human catastrophe and the wider implications for regional stability.

“Nor have we had the opportunity to debate the urgent and pressing need for an immediate ceasefire as an essential first step to finding a lasting and just peace.

01:49 PM GMT

Hoyle under fire after selecting both Government and Labour Gaza amendments

Sir Lindsay Hoyle faced cries of “shameful” and “bring back Bercow” as he explained his reasoning for selecting both the Labour and the Government Gaza amendments.

The Commons Speaker said: “I can inform the House that there is a precedent for an official opposition spokesperson being called second in the debate and move an amendment before a minister was called to speak in the debate in the circumstances.”

He added: “Finally I should tell the House that in my opinion the operation of standing order number 31 which governs the way amendments to the opposition day motions are dealt with reflects an outdated approach which restricts the operations which can put the House, it is my intention to ask the Procedure Committee to consider the operation.”

A Conservative MP could be heard to mutter that the Commons Speaker was “moving the goalposts” as he first confirmed his plans. There was also laughter when he said the current rules were “outdated”.

01:41 PM GMT

Labour's Gaza amendment to be voted on first

Sir Lindsay Hoyle said Labour’s amendment will be voted on first, followed by the SNP motion and then the Government’s amendment.

The Commons Speaker said: “At the end of the debate the House will have the opportunity to take a decision on the official opposition amendment. If that is agreed to there is a final question on the main motion as amended.

“If the official opposition amendment is not agreed to, I will call the minister to move the Government amendment formally. That will engage the provisions of standing order number 31 so the next vote will be on the original words in the SNP motion.

“If that is not agreed to then the House will have the opportunity to vote on the Government’s amendment. Proceeding this way will allow a vote to take place potentially on all proposals from each of the three main parties.”

01:35 PM GMT

Labour's Gaza ceasefire amendment selected for vote

Sir Keir Starmer looks set to avoid a major Labour rebellion over calls for a Gaza ceasefire after his compromise plan was selected to be voted on.

The SNP will trigger a vote this afternoon calling for an “immediate ceasefire” in the Israel-Hamas conflict.

But a Labour amendment calling for an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire” that must be observed by “all sides” has been selected by Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the Commons Speaker.

That means Sir Keir’s plan, designed to avoid a repeat of the Labour rebellion he suffered on the same issue last November, will be voted on later this afternoon.

Sir Lindsay told the Commons: “I think it is important on this occasion that the House is able to consider the widest possible range of options.

“I have therefore decided to select the amendments both in the name of the Prime Minister and in the name of the Leader of the Opposition.”

01:17 PM GMT

Gaza ceasefire debate delayed slightly

The start of the Gaza ceasefire debate has been delayed slightly after a draft piece of legislation being brought forward by Therese Coffey, the Tory former environment secretary, was opposed by Labour’s Sir Chris Bryant.

MPs are now voting on whether Ms Coffey’s Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) (Reform) Bill should be introduced or rejected.

Votes in the Commons normally take about 15 minutes so the Gaza ceasefire debate should now get underway at about 1.30pm.

01:03 PM GMT

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12:57 PM GMT

Gaza ceasefire debate to start shortly

PMQs has now finished and MPs have finished raising numerous points of order.

The House of Commons will now hear today’s 10 Minute Rule Motion (a parliamentary device which allows individual MPs to bring forward their own draft legislation).

The debate on the Gaza ceasefire will start immediately after that, likely at about 1.20pm.

12:36 PM GMT

Grant Shapps: Government has 'absolute confidence' in Trident

The Government retains “absolute confidence” in the UK’s nuclear deterrent despite reports of a Trident missile test failure, the Defence Secretary has said.

In a written statement to Parliament, Grant Shapps said: “On 30 January 2024, HMS Vanguard and her crew conducted their most recent test operation.

“The test reaffirmed the effectiveness of the UK’s nuclear deterrent, in which the government has absolute confidence. The submarine and crew were successfully certified and will rejoin the operational cycle as planned.

“On this occasion, an anomaly did occur, but it was event specific and there are no implications for the reliability of the wider Trident missile systems and stockpiles. Nor are there any implications for our ability to fire our nuclear weapons, should the circumstances arise in which we need to do so.

“The Trident missile system remains the most reliable weapons system in the world, having successfully completed more than 190 tests. The government has absolute confidence that the UK’s deterrent remains effective, dependable, and formidable.”

12:22 PM GMT

Immediate Gaza ceasefire that collapses 'within days' not in 'anyone's interest', says Sunak

Rishi Sunak has cautioned against demands for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza as he warned that a truce that collapses “within days or weeks” would not be in “anyone’s interest”.

Stephen Flynn, the SNP’s leader in Westminster, raised the issue during PMQs as he said: “Tonight this House will have the opportunity to join with the majority of the international community and say that enough is enough, that the killing in Gaza must stop and that the hostages must be released.

“And the best way to do that is to send a clear and united message that we back an immediate ceasefire. Surely all of us, irrespective of our political allegiance can agree on that very issue?”

Mr Sunak replied: “Of course we want to see the fighting in Gaza end as soon as possible and never again allow Hamas to carry out the appalling terrorist attacks that Israel was subject to... but just calling for an immediate full ceasefire now which collapses back into fighting within days or weeks is not in anyone’s interest.

“We must work towards a permanent ceasefire and that is why the right approach is the approach that we have set out...”

Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister, addresses the House of Commons during PMQs
Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister, addresses the House of Commons during PMQs - Reuters

12:13 PM GMT

Government 'not wasting a moment' to get Post Office scandal victims compensation, says Sunak

Sir Keir Starmer said the Post Office scandal had “left people isolated... their lives ruined”.

He said that “fears of delay or cover up are causing [the victims of the scandal] anguish”.

The Labour leader urged Rishi Sunak to “draw a line” under the scandal and to release all of the relevant correspondence.

Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, addresses the House of Commons during PMQs
Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, addresses the House of Commons during PMQs - Reuters

Mr Sunak told the House of Commons that “this is one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in our country’s history” and the Government is making sure that the victims receive the “compensation they deserve”.

The Prime Minister said the Government is “not wasting a moment to get victims the compensation they deserve and the legislation will be before the House shortly”.

12:07 PM GMT

Starmer grills Sunak over Post Office scandal

Sir Keir Starmer asked Rishi Sunak if he was willing to repeat Kemi Badenoch’s claims about Henry Staunton, the former chairman of the Post Office, after she accused him of “lying”.

Mr Sunak said: “As the Business Secretary said on Monday, she asked Henry Staunton to step down after serious concerns were raised.

“She set out the reasons for this and the full background in the House earlier this week. But importantly we have also taken unprecedented steps to ensure that victims of the Horizon scandal do receive compensation as swiftly as possible and in full.

“Making sure that victims receive justice and compensation remains our number one priority...”

12:03 PM GMT

Sunak and Starmer start PMQs by praising Navalny

PMQs is now underway.

Sir Keir Starmer started by welcoming Labour’s two new MPs to the House of Commons.

Both he and Rishi Sunak started the session by praising the courage of Alexei Navalny.

11:58 AM GMT

When will the Gaza ceasefire debate start?

PMQs will start at noon.

After that we will have the 10 Minute Rule Motion. There are no urgent questions or statements in the Commons today.

That should mean that the debate on the Gaza ceasefire should get underway at about 12.55pm.

Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the Commons Speaker, will make a statement at the start of the debate setting out which amendments he has selected to be voted on.

11:46 AM GMT

Pictured: Sir Sajid Javid receives his knighthood from Prince William at Windsor Castle

Sir Sajid Javid is made a Knight Bachelor by the Prince of Wales at Windsor Castle
Sir Sajid Javid is made a Knight Bachelor by the Prince of Wales at Windsor Castle - Yui Mok /PA

11:37 AM GMT

Sunak faces Starmer at PMQs after by-election losses

Rishi Sunak will face Sir Keir Starmer at Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons at noon.

It will be the first time they have squared off since the Tories lost the Wellingborough and Kingswood by-elections to Labour last week.

Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister, is pictured today leaving 10 Downing Street ahead of PMQs
Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister, is pictured today leaving 10 Downing Street ahead of PMQs - Jordan Pettitt/PA

11:26 AM GMT

Angela Rayner explains absence from today's Gaza ceasefire votes

11:12 AM GMT

What happens if Labour’s Gaza amendment is not selected?

We know there will be votes in the House of Commons on the Gaza ceasefire issue this afternoon - but we do not yet know exactly what will be voted on.

The selection of amendments falls to Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the Commons Speaker, who will announce his decision at the start of the debate (likely at about 1pm if there are no urgent questions or statements). The selection of amendments could cause a headache for Labour.

Sir Lindsay could opt to select the Government’s amendment (calling for an “immediate humanitarian pause”), but not select the Labour one (calling for an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire”).

If that happens, it would leave Labour MPs with the choice between voting for the Government’s position, which does not go as far as calling for an immediate ceasefire, backing the SNP’s original motion, or abstaining altogether.

Labour has not revealed how it would vote if its amendment is not selected.

10:54 AM GMT

What is each party calling for on the Gaza ceasefire issue?

The SNP is calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, with MPs due to vote on the party’s motion on the subject in the House of Commons this afternoon.

Labour, the Tories and the Liberal Democrats have all put forward amendments. This is what each of the parties is calling for:

The SNP motion calls for “an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and Israel”, noting the rising civilian death toll. It further calls for the “immediate release of all hostages taken by Hamas and an end to the collective punishment of the Palestinian people”.

The Labour amendment “supports Australia, Canada and New Zealand’s calls for Hamas to release and return all hostages and for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, which means an immediate stop to the fighting and a ceasefire that lasts and is observed by all sides”. It also said that “Israel cannot be expected to cease fighting if Hamas continues with violence”.

The Government’s amendment “supports Israel’s right to self-defence”, condemns Hamas and “urges negotiations to agree an immediate humanitarian pause as the best way to stop the fighting and to get aid in and hostages out”. It also “supports moves towards a permanent sustainable ceasefire”.

The Lib Dems’ amendment states that “the only path to regional security is a two-state solution” and “urges the UK Government to call for an immediate bilateral ceasefire”.

10:31 AM GMT

Israel is committing war crimes, says SNP’s Westminster leader

Israel is guilty of committing war crimes in Gaza, the SNP’s Westminster leader claimed this morning.

Stephen Flynn told Times Radio: “I believe that Israel is committing war crimes by enforcing and inflicting collective punishment upon the Palestinian people. And of course, we are putting forward that argument for an immediate ceasefire.”

10:11 AM GMT

Stephen Flynn: UK ‘dragging its heels’ on Gaza ceasefire

Stephen Flynn said there needed to be a “clear voice” coming from Westminster in favour of an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

The SNP’s leader in Westminster told Times Radio: “Enough is enough and I think we need that immediate ceasefire.

“We need to have a clear voice coming from Westminster supporting that immediate ceasefire, which is why we put forward the motion that we have today.”

Mr Flynn said that Westminster calling for an “immediate ceasefire” was “long overdue” as he accused the Government of “dragging its heels”.

He said: “Westminster should have been in this place many months ago. Many of our allies, many nations right across the United Nations, have already voted for a ceasefire. The UK is dragging its heels.”

09:49 AM GMT

Poll: Voters view Sunak as fourth best Tory PM since 2010

Voters view Rishi Sunak as the fourth best Tory prime minister since 2010, according to a new YouGov poll.

A survey conducted yesterday revealed that Mr Sunak ranked below Boris Johnson, David Cameron and Theresa May on the question of who had been the best premier in the last 14 years. He finished above Liz Truss.

Some 21 per cent of respondents said Mr Johnson had been the best Tory PM while 19 per cent picked Lord Cameron, 12 per cent picked Theresa May, six per cent picked Mr Sunak and one per cent picked Ms Truss.

Approximately four in 10 respondents - 41 per cent - said they did not know.

09:32 AM GMT

Labour 'tying itself up in knots' over Gaza stance, says Atkins

Victoria Atkins claimed the Labour Party was “tying itself up in knots” over its stance on the Israel-Hamas conflict and the question of a ceasefire.

The Health Secretary told Sky News that Labour was “tying itself up in knots because it can’t quite decide what its approach is to this”.

She said the Government had taken a “measured and consistent approach to making sure we get hostages out, get Hamas out, get a proper set-up, a proper government in Palestine and that is how a ceasefire will last”.

She added: “There is no point having a ceasefire that collapses after a few weeks.”

09:08 AM GMT

Government has ‘complete confidence’ in Trident missile system despite misfire

The Government has “complete confidence” in the UK’s Trident nuclear missile system, the Health Secretary insisted this morning.

It was reported overnight that a Trident missile misfired and crashed into the ocean near the submarine that launched it during a test last month. It was reportedly the second misfire in a row.

Victoria Atkins said the latest misfire was the result of an “anomaly that was very event specific”.

She told Sky News: “We have complete confidence in the system. I am informed and you will appreciate we are constrained by national security consideration, but I am informed and I accept that that was an anomaly that was very event specific.

“It has been corrected and we have complete confidence in the system. This is a really important part of our defence system and we as Conservatives fully, fully support and understand the importance of a nuclear deterrent.”

08:50 AM GMT

Labour trying to get away from Gaza ‘party politicking’, says Nandy

A Labour frontbencher said the party was trying to “get away from party politicking” on Gaza.

Lisa Nandy, a shadow international development minister, told ITV’s Good Morning Britain programme: “What we are putting before the House is a chance to elevate this debate, to get away from party politicking and to take our eyes away from the situation in the UK, firmly to the situation in Rafah, and ensure that we speak with the international community and the whole House speaks with one voice.”

08:34 AM GMT

Nandy: ‘Significant differences’ between Labour and SNP on Gaza ceasefire call

Labour’s proposal for a ceasefire in Gaza differs from the SNP’s by emphasising that it must be “two-sided”, Lisa Nandy has said.

The shadow international development minister told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “On the question of immediate ceasefire, there’s no difference. We have used the language of our international ‘Five Eyes’ partners Australia, Canada and New Zealand who over the last few days have called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire.

“We think that adds weight to those calls, that the world is speaking with one voice as the ground invasion of Rafah is imminent and it must be averted.

“But there are significant differences between our proposition and the SNP’s. We are clear that any ceasefire by definition must be two-sided, that Israel can’t be expected to lay down its weapons if Hamas doesn’t observe the terms of that ceasefire.”

Ms Nandy claimed the SNP motion was “vague” while Labour’s amendment also included a “political horizon and a pathway to peace” in the long-term, which the SNP motion did not.

08:28 AM GMT

Pictured: Starmer leaves his London home ahead of PMQs and Gaza ceasefire vote

Sir Keir Starmer leaves his London home this morning
Sir Keir Starmer leaves his London home this morning - Jeremy Selwyn /SelwynPics

08:09 AM GMT

Government has maintained ‘consistent and measured approach’ on Gaza, says Atkins

The Government has maintained a “consistent and measured approach” by consistently calling for a “humanitarian pause” in the fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, the Health Secretary said.

Victoria Atkins told Times Radio: “Of course we all want to see an end to this but we are taking, as we have done, a consistent and measured approach to the horrific events of October last year and ensuring that first and foremost the hostages that are still held by Hamas are in fact released.

“We want a humanitarian pause, we want the hostages to be released…”

08:06 AM GMT

Health Secretary: Labour and SNP ‘politically naive’ over Gaza ceasefire row

Victoria Atkins, the Health Secretary, accused Labour and the SNP of being “politically naive” ahead of a crunch Gaza ceasefire vote in the House of Commons this afternoon.

The SNP has tabled a motion calling for an “immediate ceasefire”. That prompted Sir Keir Starmer to table an amendment calling for an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire” that must be observed by “all sides” as he sought to avoid another damaging Labour revolt on the issue.

Meanwhile, the Government has tabled its own amendment calling for an “immediate humanitarian pause” while also supporting Israel’s “right to self-defence”.

Ms Atkins told Times Radio: “It is no good to anyone frankly if a ceasefire holds for a few weeks and then falls away. This is a very complex set of moving situations. We are very clear though, we have been throughout, we call for a humanitarian pause so that we can get aid in and can get the hostages out and we have genuinely been leading the world debate on this.

“But I would also say, of course, it is a shame that such an enormous international event is being now rather overtaken by some parliamentary handling problems for the Leader of the Opposition.

“We, the Government, have put an amendment down because we are clear, we have this consistent policy in Gaza and towards Israel, we want this to end but it has to do so, as I say, with those conditions in relation to hostages, removing Hamas from power.

“We are not interested in frankly pretty politically naive parliamentary procedures that Labour and others seem to be indulging in.”