LEADING UK politicians have made a ceasefire in Gaza “less likely” by refusing to call for one, SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn has said.

It comes as he called on Labour MPs to put aside “narrow party loyalties” and back his party’s motion calling for a ceasefire, which will go to a vote at Westminster later this week.

The first SNP motion calling for a ceasefire in Gaza failed to pass, but it triggered a wave of frontbench resignations from Keir Starmer’s Labour party as he tried to prevent his MPs from backing it.

In an open letter to Labour MPs ahead of the next vote on a ceasefire motion, Flynn accused Starmer and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of failure.

READ MORE: Palestinian medic cited in ICJ genocide case bids for top job at Scottish university

He wrote: "For more than four months, the UK has followed the strategy of equivocation supported by Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer. The devastation shows it hasn't worked. The time for equivocation is over.

"By failing to join the UN, world leaders, and humanitarian organisations in calling for an immediate ceasefire, the UK has made one less likely.

"The leaders of the UN, Scotland, Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal, Norway, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and many of our European neighbours are among the world leaders calling for an immediate ceasefire.

"The threat of a full scale military assault on Rafah, where 1.4 million Palestinian refugees have sought sanctuary, makes a ceasefire more urgent than ever.”

READ MORE: South Africa lodges 'urgent request' with UN court over Israel's Rafah bombardment

He added: "No one is pretending this is a simple situation, or that one vote will magically result in a ceasefire overnight, but a ceasefire is more likely to happen if the UK Parliament and government join international pressure than if they fail.

"For those Labour MPs who are wavering, I urge you to press Keir Starmer to change his position. If he won't, I urge you to be on the right side of history and join us in doing the only right thing by voting for an immediate ceasefire now.

Speaking on the BBC’s Laura Kuennsberg programme on Sunday, Labour candidate and former Scottish secretary Douglas Alexander suggested the SNP’s motion was just a “parliamentary parlour game”.

On the same programme, David Lammy, Labour’s shadow foreign secretary, said he understands why Scottish Labour support calls for a Gaza ceasefire, but said he wanted to make sure any pause in fighting was “sustainable”.

Lammy also suggested he could not say whether he would support the motion because he had not seen it published.

SNP MP Drew Hendry responded on social media: “Labour' s David Lammy knows the wording of the @theSNP ceasefire motion is not something 'floating around Twitter' but has been formally laid down. He knows this.

“Why does he need to pretend they haven't seen it?”

The SNP motion text reads:

Ceasefire in Gaza.

That this House calls for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and Israel; notes with shock and distress that the death toll has now risen beyond 28,000, the vast majority of whom were women and children; further notes that there are currently 1.5 million Palestinians sheltering in Rafah, 610,000 of whom are children; also notes that they have nowhere else to go; condemns any military assault on what is now the largest refugee camp in the world; further calls for the immediate release of all hostages taken by Hamas and an end to the collective punishment of the Palestinian people; and recognises that the only way to stop the slaughter of innocent civilians is to press for a ceasefire now.

Professor Kurt Mills, an academic at the University of St Andrews and an editor with the UN-backed journal Global Governance, told the Sunday National that the motion could send an important message.

He said: “I think it's actually really quite important because it holds the Government and others’ feet to the fire. It pushes them to come out with a position – and each time, they come up with a position that's not living up to their international responsibilities.

“I mean, yes, politically, it's good for the SNP, but it also highlights to the world that the [UK] Government is really failing.”