Vote on Palestinian Statehood

Dawn Primarolo MP's response to constituents regarding the  vote on Palestinian Statehood.

"Thank you for your recent email regarding the debate and vote on Palestinian Statehood which took place last night in the House of Commons. It is to the credit of my Labour colleague Grahame Morris MP that he secured the debate and successful mobilised public support for this issue.

As you are probably aware as one of the Deputy Speakers I do not participate in divisions of the House, however I am on record as strongly supporting Palestinian Statehood.

In the vote there was a majority of 262 for the motion, taking what Grahame Morris described as the “small but symbolically important” step of recognising the Palestinian right to Statehood. I was very pleased that Ed Miliband was one of the very many Labour MPs who voted in favour, although clearly there is now considerably cross Party support for this issue. Douglas Alexander MP, Shadow Foreign Secretary, has written an article regarding Labour policy which is available here.

I was in the Chair for much of the debate and there were excellent contributions from across the House. It is clear to me that the recent Israeli actions in Gaza and the annexation of further land on the West Bank contributed to the strength of feelings expressed. MPs with strong ties to Israel expressed their deep concerns about these actions and voted accordingly.

You may have seen media reports of the Gaza Donor Conference in Cairo in which over $5 billion in aid was pledged to provide emergency relief, rebuild Gaza and boost economic activity. However there must be progress towards a permanent peace if the cycle of violence is not to be perpetuated. In my recent talks with Palestinian MPs they reiterated that their position that the framework for negotiations should be a two state solution based on 1967 borders as envisaged by UN Resolution 242.

It should be clear to all sides that now is the opportunity to return to the negotiating table and restart talks which will hopefully result in the peace the region so desperately needs.

Please do not hesitate to contact me again about this or any other issue."

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