Labour FCDO Lords spokesperson: “Responsibility for this crisis lies with Hamas”

Labour’s shadow Lords FCDO spokesperson, Lord Collins of Highbury

Responding today’s debate in the House of Lords for the opposition, Labour’s Foreign Office spokesperson in the House of Lords, Lord Collins, said: “As Keir Starmer said yesterday, the brutal attack in Israel just over two weeks ago was the darkest day in Jewish history since the Holocaust. The horror and suffering caused is seared into memories with images of the dead and dying that can never be unseen. As we have heard in this debate, despite those events two weeks ago, Israel is still under attack, with rockets still being fired over it and launched against it. Israel has the right and, indeed, the duty to bring home all hostages being held by Hamas and to weaken the capabilities which made Black Saturday possible.”

He went on to say: “The simple fact is that, if Hamas had a single concern for the safety of Palestinian people, it would never have taken hostages. The responsibility for this crisis lies with Hamas and nobody else. The scenes of hundreds killed at the Al-Ahli Arabi Baptist hospital are devastating and cannot be justified. As we have heard tonight, we know who was responsible for that. Hospitals and civilian lives must be protected. We all have a duty to act responsibly and judiciously, as the facts are determined.”

He finished by calling for the IRGC to be proscribed, a longstanding LFI policy goal: “The Minister—perhaps this is one area where I will have a bit of a pop at him—is aware I have consistently called, along with other noble Lords, for the proscription of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Labour’s shadow Foreign Secretary and shadow Home Secretary had called for this last January. As we have heard in the debate, my noble friend Lord Coaker moved an amendment to the National Security Act to that effect. I hope that we will see some action. Over the weekend, the media reported that the US is now pressuring the UK to proscribe the group over its complicity in supporting Hamas. I hope that the Minister can give a clear indication tonight that the Government will finally act to proscribe this organisation.”

You can read the full debate here.