RICHARD Leonard has called on Labour MPs to back the SNP amendment to the King's speech calling for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war.

The former Scottish Labour leader, writing in the Tribune Magazine, said that voting for the motion wasn’t about siding with the SNP, but “[siding] with humanity”.

An SNP amendment calling for “all parties to agree to an immediate ceasefire” will likely be voted on at the end of the King’s Speech debate on Wednesday.

Leonard – a current Labour MSP for central Scotland – said that Labour's MPs “must put themselves on the right side of history” and vote on the issue in the Commons.

Scottish Labour has two MPs - shadow Scottish Secretary Ian Murray and the newly elected Michael Shanks.

It comes as UK Labour leader Keir Starmer has come under growing pressure from within his own party to back a ceasefire rather than a “humanitarian pause” – which Leonard calls a “contradiction in terms”.

He said: “It is not humanitarian to briefly ‘pause’ this slaughter to allow a besieged people some limited access to food and water or to drive them from their homes, never to return, so they can be bombed somewhere else at a later date.”

The National: Scottish Labour depute Jackie Baillie says the position of her party is "clear"

Scottish Labour deputy leader Jackie Baillie accused the SNP of “game playing” over Gaza on Tuesday, saying the position of Scottish leader Anas Sarwar was “clear” in calling for a ceasefire – but repeatedly refused to say how she expected her party’s two Scottish MPs to vote.

Leonard called into question whether backing the SNP amendment would "revive the party” amid ongoing struggles. To the contrary, he said not doing so “risks hindering the Scottish Labour Party’s hopes of advance”.

Leonard then said that being an MP is “to hold in your hands a great privilege”.

He went on: “It offers a chance to make a difference, to do the right thing. It is my deepest conviction that all that people want, including the people of Israel and Palestine, is a chance to live in peace.

“There is no inevitability about what is happening. The future is unwritten. Labour MPs should follow their conscience, their own moral compass, and the views of the people who send them to Parliament, from whom their power is borrowed.”