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HomeWorldTwo-state solution ‘not rewarding Hamas’, Cameron tells Lords – UK politics live

Two-state solution ‘not rewarding Hamas’, Cameron tells Lords – UK politics live


Cameron: I have personally challenged the Israel government over incidents in Gaza

Speaking in the House of Lords, foreign secretary David Cameron has said that he has personally challenged the Israeli government over individual incidents in Gaza.

Responding to a question from Green party peer Natalie Bennett, who raised the case of Hind Rajab, he said:

First of all, the case she raises is completely tragic. And what is happening in Gaza is tragic that we want to see an end to the suffering and end of this killing.

Let me just make this point, that the pause we are calling for, we want to turn into a ceasefire, by making sure that the conditions are right for getting permanent ceasefire.

The way you do that is fulfilling a number of conditions. You’ve got to get, in our view Hamas leaders out of Gaza otherwise any ceasefire won’t last because the problem will still be there. You’ve got to dismantle the operation of terrorist attacks. You’ve got to have a new Palestinian Authority government in place. You’ve got to give the Palestinian people a political horizon to a better future, a two state solution, and crucially, you’ve got to release all of the hostages and do that very quickly.

She asked whether we challenge the Israeli government over individual episodes. Yes, we absolutely do. I’ve done that personally with them over, for instance, a building that was bombed that had UK medics and other charities in, and we will continue to do that as part of the very important process that we go through to judge whether they are in compliance with international humanitarian law.

Key events

Stormont’s finance minister Caoimhe Archibald shas aid it was “not acceptable” for the Treasury to make the write-off of a £559 million debt conditional on the publication and implementation of a sustainability plan at short notice.

In a letter to chief secretary to the treasury Laura Trott, the finance minister said

Ministers are united and speak with one voice in the need to invest and reform our public services. Making the write off of the £559m for debt repayment conditional on the publication and implementation of a sustainability plan is not acceptable. It is our strong view that these debts exist primarily due to the underfunding of public services.

The executive has already given a commitment to the British Government to develop a sustainability plan with a pre-requisite that the right level of funding is provided.
The government’s timescale requiring this to be published by May 2024 is completely unrealistic. It is essential that the executive is afforded adequate time to give proper consideration to this important matter.

Earlier the UK government announced a funding settlement plan now that the Northern Ireland asssembly and devolved government has been restored. [See 13.37 GMT]

In his last answer to these questions about the prospect of the UK recognising a Palestinian state, foreign secretary David Cameron has said in the House of Lords:

Recognition is obviously part of a two state solution. And it’s something that should help with the momentum.

The point I’ve been making is that it should not be the first thing that we do. I think that would take the pressure off the Palestinians to reform and the things that need to happen in the Palestinian Authority.

But just because it doesn’t happen at the beginning, doesn’t mean it has to wait right till the end.

And I think one of the things that is beginning to change, which I think is hopeful is the American posture up to now has been that recognition can only come when Israel and Palestine agree on the creation of a Palestinian state.

If you do that you do effectively give Israel a veto over a Palestinian state. And I think that’s the opposite of creating a sort of unstoppable momentum towards a two state solution that we all want to see.

Foreign secretary David Cameron has been asked by the archbishop of Canterbury in the House of Lords about the occupied West Bank, where Justin Welby said “very large numbers of Palestinians have been killed by people who live in illegal settlements”. He also asked about support for Jordan.

Cameron said:

He’s absolutely right to say we should focus on what’s happening in the West Bank as well as Gaza, and it is a chilling statistic that since 7 October 96 Palestinian children have been killed in the West Bank. There have been a series of very worrying developments and disturbances. And that’s why the government is focused on this, and actually only yesterday, we for the first time announced some sanctions against violent settlers who were carrying out criminal acts in the West Bank.

The foreign secretary said the Jordanians are also working towards a two-state solution, adding:

A crucial thing that needs to be sorted out is how you move from the current Palestinian authority that we have that has a number of issues and difficulties to a new technocratic government that would work across the Palestinian territories. And I think the Jordanians can play a big role in helping to bring that about.

Two-state solution ‘not rewarding Hamas’, says Cameron

David Cameron has been asked by Stewart Jackson (Conservative) did he speak to the US before he made his comments about the UK potentially recognising a Palestinian state. Cameron said:

My Lords, this government has always supported a two state solution and that remains the case. Clearly recognising a Palestinian state at the right time is part of that policy. My noble friend asks about consulting our allies. And of course, we discuss all issues relating to the conflict in Gaza and Israel-Palestine relations. But ultimately, I’m pleased to tell him that the UK has a sovereign and independent foreign policy, set by a British prime minister and a British foreign secretary in the British Parliament.

Jackson replied:

Hamas is a genocidal terror group – for the benefit of the BBC they are not militants. The Palestinian Authority has lost control of large cities in the West Bank, to Iranian backed terror groups, who openly pay salaries to convicted terrorists and is deeply corrupt and repressive.

Palestinian statehood is, I trust ,something all of us in this house wish to see. Does my noble friend share my very grave concerns that premature unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state now risks rewarding Hamas playing into Iran’s hands and perhaps jeopardising the chances for a long term sustainable peace.

Cameron said:

I absolutely understand where my noble friend is coming from. I would just say to him that of course, it isn’t rewarding Hamas. Hamas don’t believe in a two state solution. They believe in the destruction of Israel.

And my point is that if you look at the whole point of a two state solution is to create long term sustainable peace, and I think the last 30 years have shown that we won’t solve this problem without a solution that gives dignity and security to Palestinian people, as well as giving vital security to Israel. So I say this, as a strong friend of Israel, that this is the right approach. And we should pursue it.

Updated at 

Foreign secretary David Cameron has said that at the Munich security summit he hopes to engage China over the issue of freedom of navigation, stating that as trade is such an important component of their economy, the Chinese “should be as fully supportive of freedom of navigation as we are”.

David Cameron has described the Aukus pact as part of a strategic tilt to the Indo-Pacific. He has been asked about how the announcement did not go down well in Paris, and Cameron has said “ultimately, Britain and France should work to cooperate as closely as we can, because we are similar-sized powers with similar-sized militaries and similar-sized global ambitions.”

The next question for foreign secretary David Cameron in the House of Lords is about the AUKUS security pact.

UK foreign secretary David Cameron has said that Israel has “every right to respond to” what he described as “the biggest pogrom since the Holocaust in terms of the loss of life of Jewish people”, but that “they must obey international humanitarian law.”

Speaking in the House of Lords, the former prime minister said:

Let’s be clear, that involves not only what the IDF do in terms of the way they prosecute their actions in terms of this war, but it also means, as they are the occupying power in Gaza, that they have to make sure that humanitarian aid and food and water and shelter are available to people in Gaza, because if they don’t do that, that would be a breach of international humanitarian law as well.

Cameron: I have personally challenged the Israel government over incidents in Gaza

Speaking in the House of Lords, foreign secretary David Cameron has said that he has personally challenged the Israeli government over individual incidents in Gaza.

Responding to a question from Green party peer Natalie Bennett, who raised the case of Hind Rajab, he said:

First of all, the case she raises is completely tragic. And what is happening in Gaza is tragic that we want to see an end to the suffering and end of this killing.

Let me just make this point, that the pause we are calling for, we want to turn into a ceasefire, by making sure that the conditions are right for getting permanent ceasefire.

The way you do that is fulfilling a number of conditions. You’ve got to get, in our view Hamas leaders out of Gaza otherwise any ceasefire won’t last because the problem will still be there. You’ve got to dismantle the operation of terrorist attacks. You’ve got to have a new Palestinian Authority government in place. You’ve got to give the Palestinian people a political horizon to a better future, a two state solution, and crucially, you’ve got to release all of the hostages and do that very quickly.

She asked whether we challenge the Israeli government over individual episodes. Yes, we absolutely do. I’ve done that personally with them over, for instance, a building that was bombed that had UK medics and other charities in, and we will continue to do that as part of the very important process that we go through to judge whether they are in compliance with international humanitarian law.

Natalie Bennet is now asking David Cameron about what the UK is doing to help children in Gaza. He has said:

My Lords, the best way to address the humanitarian situation is by ending the fighting as soon as possible. That is why I’ve repeatedly said an immediate pause in fighting is necessary. UK aid is saving children’s lives. We’re doing everything we can to get more aid into Gaza. We’ve trebled our aid commitment to the occupied Palestinian territories. This includes targeted support for children through our 5.75m contribution to UNICEF, and children are also benefiting from life saving food, shelter and health support that we’re providing through partnerships with other UN agencies, through NGOs and the Red Crescent societies.

It has to be said that having the foreign secretary face questions in the House of Lords is very far from the atmosphere that you imagine the former prime minister would face in the House of Commons.

In the House of Lords, David Cameron says he wears as a badge of honour that he has been “personally sanctioned by Vladimir Putin”. He was speaking to Ray Collins, who has also faced sanctions from the Russian government, congratulating him on “joining a club of which I’m a member”.

The first question to David Cameron in the Lords has been about global debt of developing countries. He has mentioned that the UK has worked with Rwanda since the 1990s to increase tax revenue tenfold there, and suggests that one of the best ways to help heavily indebted countries is to help them improve their own fiscal systems to raise revenue.

Cameron questioned in Lords

David Cameron, the foreign secretary, is appearing to be asked questions in the House of Lords. There is a live feed here.

Updated at 

Richard Partington is the Guardian’s economics correspondent

The head of Britain’s post-Brexit trade watchdog has said it is ready to follow Brussels in launching an investigation into Chinese companies flooding the market for electric cars, but the government has not asked it to do so.

Oliver Griffiths, the chief executive of the UK’s Trade Remedies Authority (TRA), which advises the government on trade defence, said it was keeping lines of communication open with ministers and had been in close contact with the car industry. “We’ll be ready to go if anyone does come to us,” he told the Guardian in an interview.

The European Commission launched an anti-subsidy investigation into Chinese electric vehicles (EVs) late last year after warning that global markets were being “flooded” with cheap imports from the world’s second largest economy.

Britain would have been covered by the inquiry as a member state but has led an independent trade policy since leaving the EU four years ago. Under the UK’s post-Brexit system, the TRA can be called on by ministers or industry to investigate whether import controls are needed to protect Britain’s economic interests.

However, Griffiths said no request by government or carmakers had been made since Brussels launched its investigation in October.

Read more of Richard Partington’s report here: Post-Brexit watchdog ‘ready’ to investigate flood of cheaper Chinese electric cars

For those of you who have been following the story of the delayed ferries being built at Ferguson Marine, the Glen Sannox has departed today for her first sea trials.

The Caledonian MacBrayne ferry MV Glen Sannox undergoes a sea trial, accompanied by tugs, on a short trip under her own propulsion in Port Glasgow. Photograph: Jane Barlow/PA

Costs for Glen Sannox and sister ship Glen Rosa have more than tripled to at least £360m and they are expected to be delivered about six years late.

Labour’s Steve McCabe has been on GB News, and added his voice to those commenting on the withdrawal of support for the party’s candidate for the Rochdale byelection. The shadow minister for veterans told viewers:

It is obviously difficult and embarrassing for the Labour party. But I mean I think when you are confronted with a situation like this, you don’t have a choice and you have to do what you believe to be right.

I have been involved in times where allegations have been made about candidates. Sometimes you have to weigh up. You know, you have to ask how important it is, what else is influencing it?

I think the issue is that conditionally people were prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt that he said his apology in good faith. But I think with the further revelations it was too late and that was just the end of it.

The Daily Record’s political editor Paul Hutcheon is claiming an exclusive that Labour in Scotland are set to back an “immediate” ceasefire in Gaza at their conference at the weekend.

Labour’s leader in Scotland, Anas Sarwar, told the paper that he welcomed those planning to attend a protest in Glasgow on Saturday, saying:

What I’d say to those protesting is I understand your anger. I want peace in the Middle East. So, yes, come make your voice heard, you have every right to do that, but do so in a peaceful way because ultimately we want the same thing.

On the same Saturday of the march our conference will be doing our own plea in terms of supporting the humanitarian effort in Gaza, and we will also be debating and passing a motion calling for an immediate ceasefire. The very things people will be demanding outside the hall we will be calling for inside the hall.

The violence has to stop. We need a ceasefire now. We need the immediate release of hostages. We need immediate access to humanitarian aid and we need a pathway to a peace process.



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