Yesterday evening, the House of Commons voted in favour of recognising Palestine as a state alongside Israel, in a symbolic motion serving as “a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution”.
Rarely do our politicians have the opportunity to vote on Israel/Palestine’s status, making the result of this vote – 274 to 12 – a historic moment.
However, less than half of our MPs took part in the vote, and government ministers – including the Prime Minister – abstained on the vote, showing the enduring controversy of the subject.
The motion, calling on the government to “recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel”, was put forward by the Labour MP Grahame Morris and amended by the former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw.
Following the result, Morris commented that this was a “small but symbolically important” step towards recognising Palestinian statehood.
However, not all MPs were happy with the situation. There were worries among the Labour whips about a rebellion, with one shadow minister telling the Telegraph that there had been a “cock-up” in party management. This was regarding the anger of some in the party that they were going to be compelled by their leadership to publicly back Palestine. In the end, Labour only enforced a one-line whip, meaning MPs in attendance were encouraged to vote in favour of the motion.
Here are the 12 MPs who voted against the motion:
Matthew Offord, Conservative MP for Hendon
Bob Blackman, Conservative MP for Harrow East
Jonathan Djanogly, Conservative MP for Huntingdon
Mike Freer, Conservative MP for Finchley and Golders Green
Nigel Mills, Conservative MP for Amber Valley
Robert Syms, Conservative MP for Poole
Nigel Dodds, DUP MP for North Belfast
William McCrea, DUP MP for South Antrim
Ian Paisley, DUP MP for North Antrim
Jim Shannon, DUP MP for Strangford
David Simpson, DUP MP for Upper Bann
Sir Alan Beith, Liberal Democrat MP for Berwick-upon-Tweed