SCOTTISH Labour’s two MPs have said they will not back the SNP’s Commons call for a ceasefire in Gaza.

Ian Murray, shadow Scottish secretary, and Michael Shanks, MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West, have said that instead they will support a Labour amendment calling for a “humanitarian pause”.

It has been confirmed Labour's amendment to the King’s Speech debate calling for humanitarian pauses in the fighting in Gaza will be debated in the Commons and the SNP amendment calling for an “immediate ceasefire” will also be debated by MPs.

In a two-page letter to the SNP’s group leader Stephen Flynn, Murray and Shanks set out that they would be backing Labour leader Keir Starmer’s position.

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Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar has previously called for a ceasefire and a number of MSPs signed motions in Holyrood in direct opposition to Starmer.

But Scotland’s two Labour MPs have fallen in line with the Westminster party’s position, amid reports that parliamentarians were told to vote down the SNP amendment and after a frontbench MP resigned earlier this week over the party’s position.

Labour has issued a three-line whip to its MPs requiring them not to vote on the SNP amendment and to back the Labour amendment.

It is expected the party whips may issue a number of absence slips to members to excuse them from attending the vote on Wednesday evening. 

In the letter to Flynn, Murray and Shanks said the Labour amendment sets out “what can realistically be achieved in the short term to halt the humanitarian crisis we are witnessing”.

“We unequivocally condemn the attack and murder of civilians by Hamas and want an end to the violence in Israel and Palestine,” they added.

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But, setting out the Labour motion, the pair said they supported demands for a “full, comprehensive and immediate humanitarian pause in fighting across the whole of Gaza now” rather than a ceasefire.

They argued that “humanitarian pauses” should be longer to allow more aid and the movement of civilians to take place, adding that the amendment “acknowledges that while humanitarian pauses are not perfect, they are the possible and necessary first step to an enduring cessation of hostilities and a credible, diplomatic and political process to deliver a lasting peace of a two-state solution”.

“We all want the violence to end but we must create conditions on the ground to make that happen,” the letter continued.

“We must help create those conditions so that both sides comply. This starts with what is possible”.

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Murray and Shanks said that as Hamas has said they would repeat October 7 attacks “again and again” and Israel will not stop until hostages are returned that “for any ceasefire to work, both sides would need to comply”.

They continued: “The reality is that neither the long-term security of Israel nor long-term justice for Palestine can be delivered by bombs and bullets but through a political settlement.

“As you know, in these situations of grave international crisis parliament is at its best when we work together to find common solutions and speak with one voice.

“We must scrutinise, press, push and demand that the government does more and then does more still to find a way of bringing this war and suffering to an end.”

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In response, SNP Westminster Deputy Leader Mhairi Black (above) MP said that the party will “stand up for its values” by voting for an immediate ceasefire, which she said is the “only way to stop the deaths of innocent children, end the collective punishment of civilians and uphold international law”.

She said: "It's the position backed by the UN, the international community and the SNP government, and until today it was the position supported by Anas Sarwar, whose own MPs are now defying him.

“SNP MPs will be able to look themselves in the mirror knowing they voted for a ceasefire - it will be for Scottish Labour MPs to explain why they failed to do so."

Rutherglen MSP Clare Haughey branded Shanks "spineless".

She said: "Michael Shanks would rather fall in line behind Sir Keir Starmer than do the right thing – which, btw, is what our shared constituents are asking from us – and vote for a ceasefire. Spineless. Shameful."

Ex-Labour MP Les Huckfield added the move by Scottish Labour MPs shows leader Sarwar is a "carbon copy" of Starmer.

He tweeted: "This again shows the moral emptiness and vacuity of any claim from Labour in Scotland about a 'fresh start' during the Rutherglen by-election.

"Anas Sarwar is now just a carbon copy of Keir Starmer."

We told how Flynn urged MPs to “show moral leadership” by backing the ceasefire calls ahead of the Commons vote.

In an open letter, Flynn told Westminster politicians that the only way to “stop this humanitarian disaster” and the “killing of thousands more children” is to “use all our influence” to press for an immediate ceasefire.

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He said that a Westminster failure to call for a ceasefire would see the UK disregard international law and “condone collective punishment”.

It comes as former Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard urged his party’s MPs to support a ceasefire, while deputy Scottish Labour leader Jackie Baillie accused the SNP of “game playing” over the amendment. 

The war, now in its sixth week, was triggered by Hamas’s surprise October 7 attack on Israel, in which militants massacred hundreds of civilians and took some 240 hostages back to Gaza.

Israel launched heavy air strikes for nearly three weeks before sending troops and tanks into the north.

The war has killed thousands of Palestinian civilians and wreaked widespread destruction on the impoverished coastal enclave.