Jack Staw urges UK to back Palestinian state at UN

Jack Straw

Jack Straw

The former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has called on MPs to support Palestinian plans for a unilateral statehood bid at the UN.

The British government has not confirmed whether it will support the Palestinians if a vote goes ahead, although the US has already vowed not to back the move.

Mr Straw has written to every member of parliament urging them to help admit the state to the UN and add their support to an Early Day Motion backing the bid. He said it would be the "best way" to restart peace negotiations.

He said: "It is vital that the UK and other European countries have the courage to point the way forward."

He noted that the World Bank, the UN, the EU and the IMF had all judged the Palestinians as "ready for statehood" and added: "We all understand the fears that Israelis have for their security, but it will not enhance their security to deny the right of self-determination permanently to the Palestinians.

Mr Straw was in charge of foreign affairs for five years, including during the invasion of Iraq.

Last updated: 5:04pm, September 14 2011