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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Tan Dhesi faces abuses and death threats after controversial votes in parliament

Tan Dhesi abstained on a motion submitted by the SNP calling for a ceasefire but voted for a Labour amendment calling for steps towards an “enduring cessation” of the violence and a two-state solution.

Slough’s MP has vowed to continue advocating an “end to violence” in Gaza despite receiving death threats following contentious votes in parliament.

This week in parliament saw debate over amendments to the King’s Speech – including motions around the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.

Tan Dhesi abstained on a motion submitted by the SNP calling for a ceasefire but voted for a Labour amendment calling for steps towards an “enduring cessation” of the violence and a two-state solution.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer had instructed his MPs to abstain on the SNP amendment, while eight of his frontbenchers resigned to vote for it.

However, Mr Dhesi has since received abuse and death threats over his abstention on the SNP motion.

He said: “I have openly called for a ceasefire, but also acknowledge that neither Israel nor Hamas are agreeing on one yet, even though a lot of work has been done to hopefully bring an end to these horrors.

“I abstained on all other parties’ amendments – as is usual practice – but voted for the comprehensive Labour amendment which was only tabled the night before calling for ‘an end to the violence in Israel and Palestine’.”

The Labour motion also called for the release of all hostages, the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the lifting of the siege.

While explicitly calling for a ceasefire, the SNP motion has faced criticism for its lack of reference to a two-state solution.

Mr Dhesi also rebutted those accusing him of abstaining on the SNP motion in pursuit of money or power, noting that his shadow ministerial post gives him a role in holding the government accountable and does not bring him an additional salary.

He added: “Rest assured, despite the abuse and intimidation from some, I will continue to advocate human rights, peace and prosperity – for everyone there and across the world.”

The October 7 attacks saw Hamas, which is recognised as a terrorist group in the UK, launch attacks against Israel from Gaza in which hundreds of Israeli civilians were killed and more than 200 Israelis taken hostage.

Israel has responded with a major military campaign including airstrikes and ground operations in the Gaza Strip.

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