Blackburn MP Kate Hollern and more than 50 Labour MPs defied leader Sir Keir Starmer and backed calls for a ceasefire in Gaza.

Labour MPs were ordered to abstain on the SNP move and told to back the party's official position calling for longer ‘humanitarian pauses’ rather than a ceasefire.

SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn had said Parliament must ‘show moral leadership’ and vote in favour of backing an immediate cessation of hostilities.

The motion came after SNP leader Hamza Yousaf's family were caught up in the conflict in Gaza, eventually escaping and returning to the UK after weeks in danger and with scant food and water.

Four shadow ministers, including Jess Phillips, Yasmin Qureshi, Afzal Khan and Paula Barker – quit on Wednesday evening after deciding to support the SNP amendment to the King’s Speech backing a ceasefire.

Other frontbenchers: Rachel Hopkins, Sarah Owen, Naz Shah and Andy Slaughter; also face being sacked after breaking the party whip to back the amendment.

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

Across Lancashire Kate Hollern was joined by Cat Smith MP (Lancaster and Fleetwood) who also voted in favour of a ceasefire.

Kate Hollern MP had earlier said she had received thousands of messages from constituents regarding the ongoing crisis in Gaza.

She said: I will be voting for an immediate ceasefire simply because I believe that is this is the only way to preserve innocent lives to end the unprecedented killing and destruction, to ensure full access of humanitarian aid into Gaza and to allow for a renewed peace process to begin.”



Frontbenchers who rebel to back a rival amendment would normally face the sack for breaking the party whip.

Bradford’s Naz Shah, shadow minister for crime reduction, broke ranks with her party leader as she confirmed plans to vote for an SNP amendment to the King’s Speech backing a ceasefire.

Ms Shah said a “humanitarian catastrophe” is taking place in Gaza as she backed calls for an “immediate ceasefire”.

She had told the Commons: “I will be supporting the amendment which seeks an immediate ceasefire.”



SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn MP said: “Tonight, the SNP voted in line with our values for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and Israel. SNP MPs will be able to look themselves in the mirror knowing they did the right thing.

“It’s shameful that a majority of Tory and Labour MPs blocked calls for a ceasefire – and have condoned the continued bombardment of Gaza, which has killed thousands of children and civilians, in breach of international law.

“There is growing international momentum for an immediate ceasefire but Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer have opted out of it – and have instead chosen to repeat their parties’ past mistakes by ignoring the UN, disregarding international law and sitting on their hands while innocent civilians are being killed.

“It is clear that support for a ceasefire would have been even stronger tonight if Keir Starmer had not threatened Labour MPs with punishments if they voted for peace.

“The SNP will continue to press for an immediate ceasefire – including by piling pressure on Westminster to do the right thing. This is not over and we will not give up.”