Miliband cuts Israel trip

Foreign Secretary David Miliband was forced to cut short his trip to Israel this week because of a three-line whip on Wednesday night’s House of Commons vote on the length of time police can question terror suspects before charging them.

Government and Opposition MPs were brought in from foreign trips and far-flung constituencies in order to be present for the vote, viewed by Prime Minister Gordon Brown as a vital test of his premiership. On Tuesday, Mr Miliband was due to have visited the southern Israeli town of Sderot, scene of repeated rocket attacks from Hamas.

A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: “The Foreign Secretary visited Lebanon and the Occupied Palestinian Territories in the last few days.

“He intended to continue to Israel, but returned to the UK early because of urgent Parliamentary business. We are looking for the next available opportunity to reinstate this visit.”

    Last updated: 11:35am, June 12 2008