Putney MP Addresses the House Ahead of Gaza Vote

Fleur Anderson tells the Commons of her recent visit to the area

Fleur Anderson addresses the House during stormy session of parliament
Fleur Anderson addresses the House during stormy session of parliament


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February 23, 2024

Putney’s MP was at the centre of one of the most controversial days in recent years in the House of Commons this week when she spoke on the debate on the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Fleur Anderson addressed her fellow MPs ahead of the Labour motion on Wednesday 21 February relaying her experiences of her visit to the region.

She said, “In my speech before the ceasefire vote I wanted to draw attention to the people I met on my trip to Israel and the West Bank just four days earlier. I told Parliament about the people I had met, many of whom had lost their family. Rachel Goldberg, an extraordinary woman who is living in the horror of the aftermath of the October 7th attacks by Hamas. She told me the story of her son Hersh going missing after he attended a music festival. As she described him, I was reminded of my own 21-year-old. I wanted MPs to hear these human stories, so that our debate can be properly informed by the immense suffering and pain that both Israelis and Palestinians are enduring every day.”

Controversially, the Speaker of the House, Lindsay Hoyle, ignored convention by allowing a Labour motion on Gaza to be brought forward ahead of one from the Scottish National Party leading to angry scenes in the chamber.

The Speaker stated he broke with standard protocol to give MPs the chance to vote on "the widest range of propositions," and was also concerned about threats to MPs' security over the issue. MPs have seen demonstrations outside Parliament, their constituency offices and even homes over recent weeks.

Amid escalating tensions and humanitarian concerns in the Middle East, Ms Anderson stressed that an urgent ceasefire, no military action in Rafah, and a surge in aid to both the north and south of Gaza had to be the priorities of the international community.

She said: “I voted for an immediate ceasefire because it is clear that a humanitarian catastrophe is continuing to unfold in Gaza. There are reports of starvation and disease, as it continues to face bombardment. I voted for the Labour call for a ceasefire because it is clear what needs to happen next: an immediate ceasefire, no attack on the one and a half million people in Rafah, a surge of humanitarian aid and the release of the hostages.

“Thank you to the many thousands of people across Putney, Wandsworth Town, Southfields and Roehampton who have written to me expressing their horror at the violence in Israel and Gaza. I am committed, alongside my colleagues in the Labour Party, to playing our role within the international community, to see an immediate end of the violence and the beginning of the road to a lasting peace.”

Ms Anderson added, “I was extremely perturbed by the events in the Chamber on Wednesday 21st February. Our constituents expect more from elected representatives than acrimonious behaviour in the Chamber. We should be utterly focussed on the seriousness of the issue at hand, which is the role the UK is to play in supporting a lasting peace in the Israel-Palestine conflict.”

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