BOTH Warrington MPs did not vote in favour of an amendment to the King’s speech last night calling for a ceasefire in Palestine.

In a vote, tabled by the SNP parliamentary group, MPs voted yesterday, Wednesday, to add an amendment to the King’s speech calling for a ceasefire in Palestine.

Labour’s position on the vote however drew a great deal of controversy, with the party tabling their own amendment calling for humanitarian corridors, but no ceasefire.

After being told that any Labour frontbench MP voting for a ceasefire would be effectively resigning, Sir Keir Starmer faced the biggest test of his leadership yet – with 56 Labour MPs defying his orders to abstain on the amendment.

This included eight frontbench Labour MPs, most notably Jess Phillips, a prominent frontbencher who previously ran for leadership of the party against Sir Keir Starmer.

Charlotte Nichols, MP for Warrington North, was not one of the rebels, abstaining from the vote.

Charlotte Nichols said on the vote: “The situation in Israel and in Gaza has been truly appalling, and I mourn the deaths of innocents on both sides. My constituents have of course been moved, shocked and angered by what they have seen, and hundreds have written to me about this; others understandably feel helpless and depressed about the ongoing bloodshed.

Warrington Guardian: Scenes from a vigil outside Parliament following a fatal blast at a hospital in GazaScenes from a vigil outside Parliament following a fatal blast at a hospital in Gaza (Image: PA)

“We all want a return of the hostages, an end to violence and a lasting and sustainable peace.

“There were a number of amendments put forward on the King’s Speech last night. While any vote by our parliament would be unlikely to affect the military action on the ground, it was right that as the representatives of the public we had the opportunity to speak for the country.

“I considered every letter, email, and message that constituents sent to me, as is my responsibility, as well as the amendment options that were proposed. Two submitted amendments called for a ceasefire, of which one was chosen by the Speaker for a vote.

“I may well have voted for the one that was not selected, as that set out that a ceasefire would not be an end in itself, but must be a step towards a two-state solution including the release of hostages and diplomatic efforts towards a political solution that also removes the terrorist group Hamas from Gaza.

“Unfortunately, the amendment that was chosen did not include these essential elements, and because it lacked a framework that does more than call for an immediate ceasefire that currently both Israel and Hamas have made clear that they would not respect, I considered it inadequate and so did not vote for it.

“Without more fundamental political and diplomatic processes for durable peace, a sham ceasefire not followed by either side would risk further perpetuating the tragic cycle of violence and containment.”

“The amendment that I did support set out a realistic way forward to seeking peace.

Warrington Guardian: A pro-Palestine protest outside Town Hall in WarringtonA pro-Palestine protest outside Town Hall in Warrington (Image: Supplied)

“This includes working with our international partners to avoid any spillover of violence into the wider region, committing to the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court where war crimes have occurred to seek justice, and pushing for the pauses that are taking place to be expanded until we can get to a total cessation in violence as soon as possible, and the peace process that has been so shamefully neglected by the international community begun.

“I am sorry that the government opposed this constructive amendment, and so it was defeated.”

“These are desperately serious issues, and I fully appreciate the passionately-held views that many people hold, myself included. If it were possible that we could have had a vote last night that would have ended the deaths of innocents on both sides I would of course have supported it gladly.

“Instead all we had were options to put forward a call for a best way forwards, which I what I tried to do. As always I welcome hearing from constituents about their views and hope that together we can work for a peace that will finally endure and protect both the people of Israel and the Palestinians.”

Andy Carter, MP for Warrington South, fell with the majority of Conservative MPs who voted ‘No’ on both amendments.

Warrington Guardian: Andy Carter, MP for Warrington SouthAndy Carter, MP for Warrington South (Image: Newsquest)

Andy Carter said of the vote: ““We all want to see an end to the conflict in Gaza, however it is clear the amendments to the King’s speech for a ceasefire had no legal framework to which Israel or Hamas had to adhere and there is no indication that Hamas would abide by a ceasefire.

“Indeed there is every indication they would not release the hostages and simply use the ceasefire to re-arm.

“The position of the British Government is to urge for pauses in the IDF’s ground offensive to allow for humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian civilians living in Gaza, as well as safe routes for civilians to evacuate.

“The Government will continue to recognise Israel’s right to self-defence as well as its obligations under international law to protect civilians caught up in conflict zones.”

Warrington Guardian: A pro-Palestine protest at Trafalgar SquareA pro-Palestine protest at Trafalgar Square (Image: PA)

The Labour party has been riven with internal divisions over Israel’s response to the deadly incursion by Hamas that sparked the conflict.

The leadership has backed the UK Government’s position of pushing for humanitarian pauses in the fighting to allow aid to reach Palestinians trapped in the bombarded territory but has stopped short of calling for a total cessation of hostilities.

But Sir Keir’s allies insisted he had little choice but to take a firm line with rebels.

Peter Kyle, the shadow science secretary, said that the party lead had allowed a “very broad debate”.

“But there are key times, if you are the party that seeks to run the country and you want to be the prime minister of our country standing on the international stage, where you have to show that we are a united party that can resolve itself in Parliament and the government,” he told ITV’s Peston programme.

MPs voted 293 to 125, with a majority of 168, to reject the SNP’s King’s Speech amendment calling for “all parties to agree to an immediate ceasefire” in Gaza.