Chaos erupts as UK parliament votes on Gaza ceasefire | Israel War on Gaza News

The House of Commons has descended into chaos as the government and Scottish National Party (SNP) leader Lindsay Hoyle condemned his handling of a key vote on support for a ceasefire in Gaza.

Lawmakers from the SNP and the ruling Conservative Party left the chamber on Wednesday in an apparent protest against the speaker’s actions.

The uproar followed a decision by Hoyle to ignore precedent and allow a vote that helped the opposition Labor party – which is expected to win national elections later this year – spark a large-scale rebellion among its own lawmakers over its position on Israel’s war against Israel. Gaza.

The debate in parliament was initiated by the SNP, which tabled a motion calling for an “immediate ceasefire” in Gaza. Labor and the Conservatives then proposed amendments, with several conditions they said were necessary before there would be a lull in the fighting.

The amendments sought an “immediate humanitarian pause” – not a ceasefire – and said that “Israel cannot be expected to stop fighting if Hamas continues its violence.”

In an unusual move, Hoyle selected both amendments to be voted on, breaking with precedent where one opposition party cannot amend another party’s motion. Normally only the government amendment would be selected.

Some lawmakers mocked the speaker when he announced his decision.

Amid the chaos, the Labor amendment was ultimately approved orally, without a formal vote recording the positions of individual lawmakers.

One MP accused Hoyle, a former Labor lawmaker, of causing a “constitutional crisis”.

The House of Commons leader, Penny Mordaunt, said Hoyle had “hijacked” the debate and “undermined the confidence” of the House, and said the government was withdrawing from the proceedings.

Hoyle’s decision allowed the Labor Party to avoid a potentially damaging split over the SNP motion. A similar motion, also tabled by the SNP in November, saw Labor leader Keir Starmer suffer the biggest rebellion of his leadership.

Starmer, who initially gave Israel full support when it began its war, is under increasing pressure from Labor lawmakers and party members to back an immediate ceasefire.

Al Jazeera’s Harry Fawcett, reporting from London, said Wednesday’s vote “has ended in this real farce.”

“The Labor Amendment [went] because no Conservatives took part in the vote. There was no vote at all on the SNP motion, which started the whole story; the SNP and Conservatives are furious,” he said. “Keir Starmer [and] His Labor Party has emerged somewhat from a sticky mess, but parliament looks extremely compromised. What was a serious debate on this crucial issue of civilian life in Gaza has ended in this procedural nightmare.”

Ian Blackford, an SNP MP, told Al Jazeera that the day’s events in parliament had diverted attention from events in Gaza and made the final vote less impactful.

“[The Labour Party] came up with this proposal that would allow them to vote, and the purpose of it – especially if it was a ruling party [the Conservatives] would not participate – meant that our meaningful vote… was not held,” Blackford said. “I regret that we have to discuss this tonight, instead of talking about the need to protect the people in Gaza who need a ceasefire.”

One Conservative MP, William Wragg, has tabled a parliamentary motion expressing no confidence in the speaker, a sign of some parliamentarians’ anger at what is seen as a departure from the speaker’s traditionally neutral role.

Hoyle returned to the House of Commons later that evening and apologized.

“I tried to do what I thought was right for all sides of this House,” Hoyle said. “It is unfortunate and I apologize that the decision did not go where I wanted.”

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