Labour government will recognise a Palestinian state as a ‘contribution’ to peace process

An end to fighting in the Middle East will be an ‘immediate focus’ for Sir Keir Starmer in office


Sir Keir Starmer launched Labour's manifesto in Manchester on Thursday (Photo: Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)

The Labour Party will recognise a Palestinian state as a “contribution” to a renewed peace process if elected to government – irrespective of Israel’s position, their manifesto states.

The policy document, which was released on Thursday, appears to commit the party to backing Palestinian statehood during – rather than at the culmination of – a peace process. 

It declares: “Palestinian statehood is the inalienable right of the Palestinian people. It is not in the gift of any neighbour and is also essential to the long-term security of Israel.

"We are committed to recognising a Palestinian state as a contribution to a renewed peace process which results in a two-state solution with a safe and secure Israel alongside a viable and sovereign Palestinian state.”

Long-term peace and security in the Middle East will be an “immediate focus” for an incoming government led by Sir Keir Starmer, the manifesto states.

"Labour will continue to push for an immediate ceasefire, the release of all hostages, the upholding of international law, and a rapid increase of aid into Gaza,” it adds.

The manifesto’s precise wording on Palestinian statehood will be viewed by many as an attempt to placate Labour supporters dismayed at Sir Keir’s support for Israel’s war in Gaza.

The Labour leader initially resisted calls for a ceasefire, before calling for an end to hostilities earlier this year.

In recent months, Denmark, Ireland and Spain have all recognised a Palestinian state.

Israel reacted furiously to the news, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemning the move as a “reward for terrorism”.

The Labour manifesto states that the party will also reverse a decision taken by Suella Braverman to ban the police from recording “non-crime hate incidents” including antisemitism.

Last year, the then Home Secretary said she was “deeply concerned” about reports of the police wrongly “getting involved in lawful debate” in Britain.

“We have been clear that in recording so-called non-crime hate incidents, officers must always have freedom of expression at the forefront of their minds,” Braverman added.

In March, Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said a Labour government would require the police to record non-crime hate incidents of antisemitism to combat extremism.

Labour’s manifesto states: "Labour will also reverse the Conservatives’ decision to downgrade the monitoring of antisemitic and Islamophobic hate.”

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