Sadiq Khan has broken ranks with the Labour leadership and called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. In a video statement released this morning, Khan claimed he was joining “the international community in calling for a ceasefire“, and demanded an end to the”the escalation of military conflict”. As if Hamas will finally lay down their weapons now the Mayor of London has asked nicely…
Of course while Khan may claim to stand with “the international community” today, he doesn’t stand with own party’s leader. Starmer, like Sunak and Biden, is still calling for “humanitarian pauses“, not a ceasefire. This will ratchet up tensions within Labour even further. Khan is sticking his neck out again…
UPDATE: Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar is now also calling for a ceasefire.
There have been too many innocent lives lost in Israel and Palestine.— Anas Sarwar (@AnasSarwar) October 27, 2023
We need a ceasefire now. pic.twitter.com/kFgcU58LAQ
An open and direct challenge to Starmer’s authority…
Read Khan’s full statement below:
“Many Londoners, like me, have watched in absolute horror at the death and suffering in Israel and Gaza. Londoners’ family members killed, tortured and taken hostage. Lives changed forever, going through unimaginable trauma.
The terrible situation in Gaza now looks set to deteriorate even further. Thousands of innocent civilians – men, women and children have already been killed. And it’s becoming impossible for aid to reach the people who desperately need it. Substantial military escalation is now likely, which will only deepen the humanitarian disaster.
I join the international community in calling for a ceasefire. It would stop the killing and would allow vital aid supplies to reach those who need it in Gaza. It would also allow the international community more time to prevent a protracted conflict in the region and further devastating loss of life.
Israel has a right to defend itself, to target those responsible for the appalling terror attack of 7 October, and to take action to free the hostages. The international community must redouble its efforts to get the hostages released.
But a widespread military escalation will only deepen the humanitarian disaster. It will increase human suffering on all sides. No nation, including Israel, has the right to break international law.
There can only ever be a political resolution to achieving peace. It can’t simply be the escalation of military conflict, and an ongoing cycle of death, pain, and destruction.
I know a lot of Londoners are struggling right now, and I share in that pain, too.
Together, let’s pray for peace in the region, and keep the hope that things can and will, one day soon, be better.”