Labour Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield backs calls for ceasefire in Gaza ahead of vote in House of Commons
Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, is facing increasing pressure from backbenchers to call for a ceasefire in Gaza.
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International leaders "must call for a ceasefire" in order to protect innocent lives in Gaza and Israel, Labour MP Paul Blomfield has said.
The Sheffield Central MP reaffirmed his backing for a ceasefire in the fighting in a statement to The Star, ahead of today's vote in the House of Commons on whether to back calls for a ceasefire.
In a statement provided to The Star, Mr Blomfield said: "The international community must call for a ceasefire, but go further.
"We need the immediate and unconditional return of hostages, an end to the blockade with water and power restored to hospitals and civilians, massively increased humanitarian aid, condemnation of all war crimes, and renewed efforts for long-term peace - with a sovereign state of Palestine, free of occupation, alongside a safe and secure state of Israel."
It is the latest step in what his office says has been "consistent" work in calling for a ceasefire in the region. On October 25, 2023, Mr Blomfield joined the other four Sheffield Labour MPs in signing a letter to the Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak.
The letter urged Mr Sunak to push for a "cessation of military activity by all parties, in line with the call by the US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken for a humanitarian pause".
The Star was told how Mr Blomfield wrote to James Cleverly MP, whilst the latter was Foreign Secretary, urging him to "work with others in the international community to secure the release of hostages, the opening of an humanitarian corridor, and the de-escalation of the conflict to minimise the loss of life and suffering for all in the region".
Since the conflict broke out he has met with the Palestinian Ambassador, as well as aid agencies working in the region and NGOs such as Medical Aid for Palestinians.
The Guardian has reported that Keir Starmer is expecting "at least three and as many as 15 frontbenchers to resign over the issue", as the Labour Party continues to resist calls to back a ceasefire from a quarter of the parliamentary party - including Olivia Blake MP and Clive Betts MP. Sheffield Heeley MP, Louise Haigh, currently serves in Keir Starmer's frontbench as the shadow Transport Secretary. So far, she has not spoken out against the party line by explicitly calling for a ceasefire, despite building pressure from constituents online.
Ms Haigh did sign the letter to the Prime Minister in October, as did Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough MP, Gill Furniss.