South London MPs abstain in vote for Gaza ceasefire

South London MPs have been criticised for abstaining in a vote on the Scottish National Party’s (SNP) motion calling for a ceasefire in Gaza last night.

The Israel-Hamas war has seen an estimated 11,240 people killed in Gaza, including 4,630 children, since the Hamas attacks on Israel on October 7 that brutally killed around 1,200 people.

Helen Hayes, MP for Dulwich and West Norwood came under criticism from ceasefire advocates after she effectively called for a ceasefire but then went on to abstain from the vote.

In a speech in the commons ahead of the vote, The MP said: “We must stand in solidarity with all those affected: the injured, the families who are bereaved and those desperately worried about their loved ones in Gaza.

“In war, ceasefires do not always hold, and we must all be realistic about the intensity of this conflict, but a bilateral humanitarian cessation of the violence—a ceasefire—is surely the minimum we should be demanding in the face of such horrific suffering.

“The overwhelming, prevailing view of my constituents is that where we have an opportunity to call for an end to the horrific suffering in Gaza, we must do so.”

Clare Hymer, a constituent of Ms Hayes and journalist for Novara Media said on X, formerly Twitter: “Hold on… so @helenhayes supports a ceasefire, but not enough to actually vote for one? Total fraud – but thanks, at least, for making the decision not to vote Labour at the next election incredibly easy.”

Ms Hayes is also shadow minister for education. The vote saw eight Labour frontbenchers resign to back the motion after party leader Sir Keir Starmer said the position was to not call for a ceasefire, in line with the Government’s position.

The following South London Labour MPs also abstained from the ceasefire vote:

Fleur Anderson MP for Putney, Neil Coyle, MP for Bermondsey, Janet Daby MP for Lewisham East, Clive Efford, MP for Eltham, Florence Eshalomi, MP for Vauxhall, Vicky Foxcroft, MP for Lewisham Deptford, Harriet Harman, MP for Camberwell and Peckham, Sarah Jones, MP for Croydon Central, Abena Oppong-Asare, MP for Erith and Thamesmead, Matthew Pennycook, MP for Greenwich and Woolwich, Steve Reed, MP for Croydon North.

Rosena Allin-Khan, MP for Tooting and Marsha De Cordova, MP Battersea voted for the ceasefire motion, while Stephen Hammond, Conservative MP for Wimbledon voted against it.

Pictured top: MP for Dulwich and West Norwood, Helen Hayes, effectively calls for a ceasefire in Gaza in her House of commons speech (Picture: Parliament TV) 

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