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Parliament tarnished by 'squalid manoeuvring' during vote on Gaza ceasefire, says MP Jamie Stone

By Gordon Calder

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Parliament was tarnished by the "squalid manoeuvring purely for party political gain" during the debate and vote on a proposed ceasefire in the conflict in Gaza, according to far north MP Jamie Stone.

He spoke out following the unprecedented scenes in the House of Commons on Wednesday evening when Conservative and SNP MPs walked out before voting occurred, allowing a Labour motion to pass unopposed.

Mr Stone, the Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross MP, said he was glad to support a motion calling for an immediate ceasefire in the war in Gaza, as he had done in November last year. The conflict there has resulted in the loss of about 30,000 Palestinian lives following the October attack on Israel by Hamas which left 1200 dead.

Jamie Stone says Parliament was tarnished after unprecedented scenes during Gaza ceasefire debate and vote
Jamie Stone says Parliament was tarnished after unprecedented scenes during Gaza ceasefire debate and vote

The Liberal Democrat MP said: "Parliament did not do itself proud last night. I saw in one glance at the Chamber an ugly paradox of the noblest of intentions by MPs – a deep wish to bring about a stop to the killing and peace, and this same intention being tarnished by squalid manoeuvring purely for party political gain. I and my party refused to have any part in it.

"Somehow Westminster seemed to lose sight of the bigger picture. Nothing is going to get better for the besieged people of Gaza until the killing stops. They deserve better than the political manoeuvring we witnessed yesterday. It should have been an opportunity for MPs to come together and it is a dear shame that this did not happen."

Mr Stone added: "My earnest prayer now is that we can put aside these petty political divisions and stop trying to gain party advantage from a conflict that brings nothing but death and despair. The people in Gaza who are cowering in basements or shivering in tents deserve that at the very least."

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