I have represented Knowsley since 1986 - the constituency has gone through a number of changes over the years, but throughout that time I have always fought for local people and to protect vital services.
My priorities are to protect and create jobs through a strong economy, education and training for all, a worldclass NHS, fair immigration policies, safe communities, a fair deal for older people and clear action to tackle climate change.
Please get in touch to let me know your concerns.
Rt Hon Sir George Howarth MP
Statement on Israel-Gaza - George Howarth MP
16 November 2023
How I voted and Why?
There were votes in Parliament on 15 November on amendments selected by The Speaker to the King’s Speech. There were two on this issue:
the Labour amendment, amendment (r)
“and submit to Your Majesty that this House wishes to see an end to the violence in Israel and Palestine; unequivocally condemn the horrific terrorist attack and murder of civilians by Hamas, call for the immediate release of all hostages and reaffirm Israel’s right to defend its citizens from terrorism; believe all human life is equal and that there has been too much suffering, including far too many deaths of innocent civilians and children, over the past month in Gaza; reaffirm the UK’s commitment to the rules-based international order, international humanitarian law and the jurisdiction of the ICC to address the conduct of all parties in Gaza and Hamas’s attacks in Israel; call on Israel to protect hospitals and lift the siege conditions allowing food, water, electricity, medicine and fuel into Gaza; request the Government continue to work with the international community to prevent a wider escalation of the conflict in the region, guarantee that people in Gaza who are forced to flee during this conflict can return to their homes and seek an end to the expansion of illegal settlements and settler violence in the West Bank; and, while acknowledging the daily humanitarian pauses to allow in aid and the movement of civilians, believe they must be longer to deliver humanitarian assistance on a scale that begins to meet the desperate needs of the people of Gaza, which is a necessary step to an enduring cessation of fighting as soon as possible and a credible, diplomatic and political process to deliver the lasting peace of a two-state solution.”
and the SNP amendment, amendment (h)
“but respectfully regret that the Gracious Speech fails to include measures that would require the Government to uphold international law and protect all civilians in Israel and Palestine; unequivocally condemn the horrific killings by Hamas and the taking of hostages; reaffirm that there must be an end to the collective punishment of the Palestinian people; call for the urgent release of all hostages and an end to the siege of Gaza to allow vital supplies of food, fuel, medicine and water to reach the civilian population; note the growing calls for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire from the United Nations and its aid agencies; and therefore call on the Government to join with the international community in urgently pressing all parties to agree to an immediate ceasefire.”
I voted for the Labour amendment.
Given everything that has happened since the horrendous attack by Hamas on 7 October, a ceasefire would, of course, be highly desirable. The question that follows, however, is: then what?
Both Hamas and the Israeli government have made it clear that they have no intention of agreeing to a ceasefire. The ceasefire amendment would, had it been passed, have amounted to a gesture and offered no meaningful way forward.
By contrast, the Labour amendment sets out a set of principles which does amount to a realistic approach.
My response to the appalling situation has, throughout, been to support measures that would ease the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and, in the longer-term, open up the possibility of a peace process leading to a two-state solution.
Had Labour’s amendment not met those criteria, I would not have voted for it.
After a great deal of heart-searching, however, I came to the conclusion that it does represent a realistic way forward, although I fully accept that it is not an easy one.
I do have respect for constituents who take a different view which is based on their legitimate anguish at the continuing loss of Palestinian and Israeli lives and the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
My decision to vote for the Labour amendment was based on those same principles, but tempered by the realistic possibility of what could be achieved by the approach it embodies.
Campaigns, petitions and policy issues - Early Day Motions - Bills before Parliament
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- Labour's Plan for Small Business. More...
- Safe Access Zones. More...
- Everton Points Deduction. More...
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Community Letter. More...
- Sutton Trust US Programme. More...
- Emergency Energy Tariff in the Autumn Statement. More...
- Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Trade Partnership (CPTPP). More...
- Heritage at Risk Register 2023. More...
- Mandatory Food Labelling on Animal Products. More...
- Energy Charter Treaty (ECT). More...
Harold Wilson - A Constituency MP
Please click here to read a pamphlet I wrote entitled 'Harold Wilson - A Constituency MP', which focuses on Harold Wilson's role as a Member of Parliament.
©2007-19 Rt Hon George Howarth MP for Knowsley