UK government

UK 'will suspend 12 arms export licences to Israel if war restarts'

By Marcus Dysch, August 12, 2014

The government has identified 12 arms export licences for equipment to Israel which it says it will suspend if the current ceasefire with Gaza collapses.

A review of licences conducted by the Business, Innovation and Skills department has concluded that the vast majority are not for items that could be used by the Israel Defence Force in operations in Gaza.

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Baroness Warsi quits government over Gaza

By Marcus Dysch, August 5, 2014

Baroness Warsi has become the first minister to quit the government over its policy on Gaza.

The Faith and Communities Minister, who also had a role as a Foreign Office minister, resigned on Tuesday morning.

She said: “With deep regret I have this morning written to the Prime Minister and tendered my resignation. I can no longer support government policy on Gaza.”

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Pro-Israel MP Margot James says country’s action in Gaza is ‘disproportionate’

By Marcus Dysch, July 31, 2014

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has come under pressure to alter the government’s stance on Israel’s action in Gaza.

Stourbridge MP Margot James, a strong supporter of Israel who has visited the country with Conservative Friends of Israel, said she was aghast at the scale of Palestinian suffering.

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The difficult question Hammond must answer

By Martin Bright, July 31, 2014

Philip Hammond is still taking his first baby steps as Foreign Secretary, but there is one question he needs to learn to answer. And quickly.

Does he consider Israel's use of military force against Hamas to be disproportionate?

On the Today programme on Tuesday he was asked the question three times and three times he dodged it. This is not good enough.

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Philip Hammond tells Israel: West is losing sympathy

By Marcus Dysch, July 24, 2014

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has warned that the West is losing sympathy for Israel as the violence in the Middle East continues.

Speaking in Jerusalem after meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Mr Hammond said he hoped a ceasefire could be brought to stop the fighting in Gaza.

He also held talks with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.

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Lib Dems will discipline David Ward over Gaza tweet

By Sandy Rashty, July 23, 2014

The Liberal Democrats have condemned an MP who backed Hamas rockets being fired into Israel.

David Ward, the MP for Bradford East, tweeted on Tuesday evening: “The big question is - if I lived in #Gaza would I fire a rocket? - probably yes”

The statement was condemned by the party.

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Former soldier Tobias Ellwood appointed UK’s Middle East Minister

By Marcus Dysch, July 16, 2014

Tobias Ellwood has been appointed as the new Middle East Minister at the Foreign Office in David Cameron’s government reshuffle.

Mr Ellwood’s promotion was one of the last to be announced and came after former minister Hugh Robertson resigned.

The MP for Bournemouth East arrives in the midst of the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas terrorists in Gaza.

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Theresa May hails Israel's war on slavery

By Marcus Dysch, July 3, 2014

Home Secretary Theresa May has visited Israel to see how the country's approach to tackling modern slavery and human trafficking can benefit Britain.

Mrs May said the Israeli government's work on the issue was an "international success story", but warned that legislation alone could not solve the problem.

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Leon Brittan defends role over Westminster sex abuse claims

By Marcus Dysch, July 2, 2014

Former Home Secretary Leon Brittan has responded to calls for him to explain what he knew about allegations of paedophilia in Westminster in the 1980s.

Lord Brittan issued a statement after Labour MP Simon Danczuk said there should be a national inquiry into allegations of historic sex abuse.

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Government's animal slaughter mis-stunning figures 'woefully misleading'

By Marcus Dysch, April 10, 2014

Shechita campaigners have accused the government of presenting “woefully misleading” figures on the number of animals mis-stunned in British abattoirs.

Health Minister Jane Ellison told Parliament that, according to the Food Standards Agency, the number of mis-stuns for animals, including chickens, cattle and sheep, in 2013 had been 28, an increase of one on the previous year.

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