Slough’s MP has explained his decision to abstain in a parliamentary vote calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.
While he voiced support for a ceasefire in the war-torn region, Tan Dhesi opted to back a Labour amendment to the King’s Speech calling for steps towards an “enduring cessation of fighting.”
It comes after critics raised points that the motion – put forward by the SNP – did not have any reference to a long-term two-state solution.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer had ordered his MPs to abstain on the SNP motion – although eight of his frontbenchers stood down to support the motion.
But Mr Dhesi, who serves in Sir Keir’s team as a shadow treasury minister, voted with his party leader despite having openly supported a cessation of hostilities.
Speaking before the House of Commons, he said: “The House will be aware that I have openly called for a negotiated ceasefire from both sides along with the release of all hostages.
“However, neither the Israeli government nor Hamas have agreed to an immediate ceasefire. Hamas has stated that they will continue with their strikes against Israel – and despite repeated calls for an unconditional release of all hostages by the UN and others, have not heeded those pleas.
“Likewise, the Israeli government has rejected growing international calls for a ceasefire and have continued relentlessly with their bombing, with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu stating that a ceasefire would be possible only if all 239 hostages are released.”
A total of 56 Labour MPs voted for the SNP amendment – more than a quarter of the party’s MPs.
Mr Dhesi noted while speaking in the House that Labour “hardly, if ever” votes for SNP amendments.
However, he did vote for a Labour amendment to the King’s Speech which called for “humanitarian pauses” and a two-state solution to the conflict.
Mr Dhesi added: “Whether the Israeli government and Hamas listen to our pleas or not, I believe we must call for an end to the violence to save lives.
“The Netanyahu government must be made to realise that razing Gaza to the ground and indiscriminate killing of Palestinians will not lead to safety and security for people living in the region – but merely fuel more anger and resentment.
“It takes us further away from peace and prosperity for all and a viable two-state solution.”
Hamas launched attacks against Israel on October 7 in which hundreds of Israeli civilians were killed and more than 200 Israelis were taken hostage.
Israel responded with airstrikes and ground operations in Gaza, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declaring his country to be at war.
Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, is recognised as a terrorist organisation in the United Kingdom.