United Kingdom Prime Minister Rishi Sunak fired a government aide after he called for a “permanent ceasefire” in Gaza amid the ongoing war after the Palestinian militant group Hamas attacked Israel.
The Conservative Member of Parliament Paul Bristow who served as Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan’s parliamentary private secretary broke ranks in a letter to the PM last week.
Last week, Bristow in the letter to Sunak said that a “permanent ceasefire” in Gaza would save lives and allow aid to reach those in need. However, the UK government has previously supported the idea of “humanitarian pauses” but not backed calls for a complete ceasefire.
The now-former government aide also warned against the “collective punishment” of the people of Gaza “for the crimes of Hamas.” Bristow, who is the Conservative MP for Peterborough, is among a few Tory MPs who have called for a ceasefire in Gaza.
The letter reportedly sent on Thursday (Oct 26) said, “My constituents and I are deeply grieved by the heart-breaking and devastating humanitarian crisis now unfolding in Gaza. Thousands have been killed and more than one million now displaced.”
Bristow, in the letter posted on Facebook also said some of his constituents have been “directly affected” by the ongoing war. “It is difficult to understand how this makes Israel more secure or indeed makes anything better,” said the Tory MP.
The UK government along with several other countries in the West have repeatedly said that Israel has a right to defend itself.
Earlier this month, the UK PM also visited Israel and met with his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu and extended support to the country in its “darkest hour” amid its ongoing fight with the Palestinian militant group Hamas.
Sunak has also announced millions of dollars in humanitarian aid to civilians in Gaza while addressing the parliament last week.
The Tory MP also wrote how ordinary Palestinians “should not suffer collective punishment for the crimes of Hamas”. “I shall reiterate at every opportunity that ordinary people are not Hamas, and every innocent life in Gaza is precious. We must do everything we can to preserve life,” Bristow concluded.
The Tory MP from Peterborough “has been asked to leave his post in government following comments that were not consistent with the principles of collective responsibility,” said a Downing Street spokesperson, according to British media reports.
The term collective responsibility in this context refers to a convention where all members of the government must publicly support government policy even if they personally disagree with the decisions.
Source : WION