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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Baroness Warsi to boycott Downing Street Eid celebration

Baroness Warsi – the first Muslim to serve as a Cabinet Minister, and currently holding a position in the House of Lords, will be among several conservative MPs and business leaders to boycott the Eid celebration at number 10 Downing Street today.

Her decision to boycott the event reflects the grave concern that many British Muslims have over the mounting crises in Gaza, particularly the UK government’s continued support of Israel despite the massive and tragic loss of civilian lives.

Baroness Warsi has been very outspoken about the situation and has previously shown opposition to the government’s policy in the region when she resigned from David Cameron’s cabinet in 2014, stating her view that it was, ‘Morally indefensible’.

A major motivation for the boycott is the recent killings of seven aid workers from the World Central Kitchen (WCK) in an Israeli airstrike, which President Joe Biden described as making his “outraged and heartbroken”.

Leading charity organiser and businessmen Asif Ansari will also be boycotting the event, citing concerns about alleged war crimes and the deprivation of essential aid to women and children. He also referred to the continued supply of arms to Israel despite the killings of aid workers as, “An absolute red line”.

The celebration, held at Number 10 Downing Street today, is an annual event hosted by the Prime Minister to recognise the important part played by British Muslims to our country.

Foreign Secretary David Cameron has urged those invited to still attend despite political opposition to Israel’s handling of the crises, saying:

“These religious festivals are a time to put aside put aside political differences”.

Mr Cameron has recently hosted successful Eid celebrations at the Foreign Office for ambassadors from both Arab countries and Israel.

Despite the boycott, the celebration will still go ahead. A spokesperson for Number 10 has said:

“The Prime minister looks forward to welcoming members of the Muslim community to the Eid reception in Downing Street.”

The spokesperson also expressed their empathy for British Muslims feelings over the crises:

“We share the deep concern that many British Muslims have over the humanitarian crises in Gaza and our priority has always been to avoid further escalation in the region.

That’s why we have long called for an immediate humanitarian pause with progress towards a sustainable ceasefire and constantly urged Israel and all parties to the conflict to abide by International Humanitarian Law.”




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