Labour frontbenchers have been warned they will be sacked if they defy Keir Starmer and back calls for a ceasefire in Gaza in a Commons vote tomorrow.
Up to a dozen are believed to be prepared to support an SNP amendment calling for an immediate and permanent end to fighting between Israel and Hamas on humanitarian grounds.
This would go further than the party line being trodden by Sir Keir, who has angered many of his backbenchers over his support for Israel’s right to defend itself and his backing only for time-limited humanitarian pauses in the IDF onslaught that has left up to 10,000 dead.
The party leader has so far been lenient with shadow ministers outside the shadow Cabinet, who have been given leeway to tacitly back a ceasefire.
But a Labour spokeswoman today said: ‘We’re not going to be engaging with the party political game playing by the SNP in parliament.’
Instead Labour plans to table its own amendment criticising Israel but stopping short of calling for a full ceasefire, giving would-be rebels room to manoeuvre.
The party leader has so far been lenient with shadow ministers outside the shadow Cabinet, who have been given leeway to back a ceasefire.
Up to a dozen are believed to be prepared to back an SNP amendment calling for an immediate and permanent end to fighting between Israel and Hamas on humanitarian grounds.
The party spokeswoman said: ‘Labour’s amendment reaffirms the position set out in Keir Starmer’s Chatham House speech and reflects our concerns about what we’ve seen on the ground in the last fortnight which includes the lack of hostage release, the insufficient amount of aid and utilities getting in and being distributed, the scale of civilian casualties in Gaza and the amount of violence on the West Bank.’
A backbench Labour-led amendment seeking an immediate ceasefire – supported by ex-Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and former shadow ministers John McDonnell, Richard Burgon and Diane Abbott – has also been tabled.
It will be for Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle to decide if any of the amendments are selected for consideration, which would pave the way for a vote.
Last week Bradford East MP Imran Hussain dramatically resigned as a shadow minister so he can ‘strongly advocate’ for a ceasefire in Gaza, saying he was ‘deeply troubled’ by the leader’s stance. But no others have since followed him.
The SNP amendment urges the Government to ‘join with the international community in urgently pressing all parties to agree to an immediate ceasefire.’
No Labour MPs have signed the motion, but it is backed by former party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who now sits as an independent and is a vocal critic of Israel.
Last night he refused to answer a question on whether Hamas is a terrorist group fifteen times during a fiery exchange with Piers Morgan last night.
Things became heated as TalkTV host Mr Morgan condemned the barbaric slaughtering of more than 1,000 Jewish people on October 7 and repeatedly asked Mr Corbyn if he would remove Hamas from power in Gaza.
Mr Corbyn shunned the question and refused to give a yes or no answer. He called the surprise attack by Hamas ‘abominable’ and ‘appalling’ but appeared to become agitated as Mr Morgan points his finger and asks: ‘And you think Israel can do peace with people who did that?’
Sitting beside Len McCluskey, former general secretary at trade union group Unite, Mr Corbyn slumps back in his chair and folds his arms and says: ‘If you want to have a discussion, fine. But if you want to shout at me that’s your prerogative – your TV. Your show.’