AN audience member tore into a Tory minister over his stance on the Israel-Hamas conflict on Question Time, calling the Government’s language towards Palestine “passive” and “disgusting”.

Junior minister Lee Rowley was taken to task on the BBC politics programme on Thursday as a woman laid into the lack of condemnation from the Tories over the killing of civilians in Gaza.

Despite dozens of MPs across the House of Commons calling for a ceasefire, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has stopped short of calling for one this week, instead insisting on humanitarian pauses in the war to allow more aid into Gaza.

Labour leader Keir Starmer has adopted the same position and has subsequently seen several of his councillors resign over his refusal to call for a ceasefire.

Rowley, minister for local government and building safety, suggested a ceasefire would only help Hamas in the conflict, which he claimed was using Palestinian people as “humanitarian shields”.

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To rapturous applause in Bradford, the audience member said: “I think the really passive language being used by the Government is quite disgusting.

“This isn’t a humanitarian crisis, this isn’t something passive, this is a brutal bombardment of a civilian population that is half children.

“Everyone is condemning the attacks Hamas conducted -  no one in their right mind would say that was okay - but when do we start condemning the murder of children from the sky? When do we start condemning bombing mosques and churches and apartment buildings?”

Rowley responded: “Who do we make a ceasefire with? This is a terrorist organisation which has executed babies, uploaded murders to Facebook. Hamas is an organisation that needs to be taken out of the Palestinian area.”

The woman interrupted Rowley asking: “How many Palestinian lives have to be killed?”

Rowley then insisted there was “no way” the Government could negotiate with Hamas which “had to be removed” for a peaceful Middle East.

The woman then asked him whether an Israeli life was worth more than a Palestinian life.

She said: “But it’s not Hamas being killed, it’s not Hamas we’re seeing blown to bits on social media, is it? We’re seeing children, women, old people, the men as well, poor fathers with their children in bags.

“What’s the exchange rate for an Israeli life to a Palestinian life? What does the death toll have to get to before this ledger becomes equal? What is it?”

The debate over the conflict and how the UK should be responding to it took up half the programme as emotions remained high right across the audience.

Another man argued that “two wrongs don’t make a right”, as he condemned Hamas but insisted the organisation’s actions do not give Israel the right to break international law.

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He said directly to Rowley: “I completely disagree with this kind of rhetoric the Conservative government is coming out with because you’re almost justifying, just because Hamas did something wrong, you’re giving Israel the green light to commit wrong.”

He then ripped into Labour’s position on the matter - directing his thoughts at shadow business secretary Jonathan Reynolds – while labelling Starmer as “Mr Flip-Flop” after he appeared to backtrack over his previous claims that Israel had the right to withhold power and water from Gaza this week.

The audience member went on: “The Labour Party’s position on this has been absolutely appalling. Keir Starmer, on LBC, clearly said that they have the right to stop water, electricity and aid, and all of a sudden he backtracks a week later. Mr Flip-Flop, as always, he changes his mind, and the Labour Party in Bradford is collapsing [with] people resigning on tap.”