East Lothian Courier – 11 April 2024


Westminster may be in recess but sadly the world’s not at peace. It may be the time of the resurrection but there’s tragically no sign of even respite for the Palestinian people. New horrors are occurring daily in Gaza, with famine and disease now stalking them along with bombs and bullets. The deaths of aid workers are shameful with so much need required.

Arms sales and other complicity with Israel in its genocide must cease. I have been calling for the suspension of arms sales and signed a joint letter just prior to Parliament breaking up. That was before these horrific acts which have seen even more call for them to cease. I’ll be working with colleagues of all parties to demand that.

But as well as stopping the supply of military hardware the UK needs to cease its complicity in Israels actions. Allowing the use of RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus to Israeli war planes must end, even if they were not carrying out military air raids. Similarly allowing the US Air Force to supply Israel from there must also cease. Military intelligence obtained by UK forces must also not be shared with Israel. Indeed, we should be allowed to know the terms of the military cooperation agreement between the UK and Israel. I have asked for its details but been refused. Citizens of this country should surely be entitled to know what’s being done in this conflict by their government.

Similarly, the UNWRA aid that was suspended by the UK must be restarted. They are the organisation best placed to address the urgent need. The suspension was shameful and predicated only on allegations made by Israel, most of which have been easily refuted. Other nations have done so, and the UK must do likewise.

I called for that along with the cessation of military assistance and will do so again when Parliament reconvenes. What is happening is a stain on humanity. I never believed that I would see such horrors in my lifetime. But the UK must have no part in it and instead must seek peace and save lives.