SCOTTISH Labour MP Ian Murray has labelled the SNP “deplorable” ahead of a vote on the party’s motion calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

Keir Starmer’s party has tabled an amendment to the SNP’s motion to call for an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire,” but also to remove the reference to the “collective punishment” of the Palestinian people.

It was a move which left First Minister Humza Yousaf frustrated and the full amendment can be read HERE.

Starmer has reportedly ordered his MPs to abstain on the SNP’s Gaza ceasefire motion with a vote set to take place on Wednesday, February 21.

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Writing on Twitter/X, Ian Murray responded to a suggestion from LibDem MP Alistair Carmichael that the SNP had refused to engage with his party despite “reaching out” over the previous motion in November.

It was a suggestion which was dismissed by a number of figures within the SNP, including chief whip Owen Thompson.

The National:

Murray said: “When govt has a majority of 60 & you don’t want to work with others to try win the vote, then it’s clear the purpose of the motion is not to win it.

“Submitting a motion to deliberately fail while telling the public it’ll pass is deplorable esp given subject.”

Thompson responded to Murray’s claim and said: “Here we go again. @IanMurrayMP can you please tell me who you approached to work with SNP on our motion.

“Anas Sarwar claimed there had been discussion, which did not happen and Lib Dems won’t say who they claim to have spoken to. There was no approach to me as chief whip.”

We previously told how the SNP’s Westminster leader said he had been left “deeply confused” as to why the Scottish Labour leader claimed Labour whips had been in contact with the SNP about their Gaza motion.

According to Politico, Starmer addressed more than 50 of his frontbenchers in a private meeting on Tuesday, urging them to reject the SNP amendment.

In response to opponents accusing the SNP of playing politics, Yousaf said he was "upset and angry" at the suggestion.

He told LBC: "I’m quite upset and angry at that accusation. My wife’s family are in Gaza so the suggestion I or the SNP would be playing politics is ludicrous, particularly as our position has been consistent over a number of months and the Labour Party have had ample opportunity to come and speak to us about the motion and they have not taken up that opportunity.

"I really hope the House of Commons can unite behind a call for an immediate ceasefire."

Asked on BBC Politics Live if the SNP Gaza motion was meant to “expose divisions in your political opponents”, SNP MP David Linden insisted it was not.

“Not at all,” he said.

“I've been a member of parliament for six years, and in that time I've seen Brexit, I've seen a pandemic, I've seen the recession, I've seen military conflict in Ukraine, in Afghanistan, but no issue has dominated my inbox more as an MP than the tragedy that is playing out in Gaza at the moment.

“I'm not particularly interested in the internal party management that Sir Keir Starmer has got to navigate at the moment.” 

Lisa Nandy comments

Murray isn’t the only person to hit out at the SNP over the ceasefire motion, with shadow international development minister Lisa Nandy (below) describing it as “vague”.

The National: Shadow housing secretary Lisa Nandy (James Speakman/PA)

“On the question of immediate ceasefire, there’s no difference. We have used the language of our international ‘Five Eyes’ partners Australia, Canada and New Zealand who over the last few days have called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire,” she told Good Morning Britain.

“We think that adds weight to those calls, that the world is speaking with one voice as the ground invasion of Rafah is imminent and it must be averted.

“But there are significant differences between our proposition and the SNP’s. We are clear that any ceasefire by definition must be two-sided, that Israel can’t be expected to lay down its weapons if Hamas doesn’t observe the terms of that ceasefire.

“The SNP motion is vague, whether deliberately or otherwise, on that point and we think it’s extremely important that we send that message.”

She added that Labour’s amendment also included a “political horizon and a pathway to peace” in the long-term, which the SNP motion did not.

Shadow foreign secretary David Lammy has also faced criticism for his comments on the motion.

Speaking to Sky News, he was asked if he could vote for the SNP’s motion to which he replied: “I don’t want to do anything in an election year in which the Labour Party might have the privilege of serving that cuts across our ability to do that and if you look at the detail of that SNP motion, it’s not balanced and that is the problem as I see it with the SNP.”

It was also put to Lammy during his appearance on LBC that Labour are more concerned about not being “aligned with the SNP” than getting behind a call for a ceasefire.

Lammy said it was “quite the opposite” and that it is “too serious” an issue to “play partisan politics”.

In response, SNP MP Joanna Cherry said on Twitter/X: “Andrew Marr is spot on with his question here. Accusations of playing politics against @theSNP are spurious.

“We have been consistent in our support for a ceasefire & the observance of international law. Labour have not.”

UK Government response

We previously told how the UK Government has once again failed to call for a ceasefire in Gaza.

It also submitted an amendment to the SNP’s motion as it argued for “Israel’s right to self-defence, in compliance with international humanitarian law” and for negotiations to create an “immediate humanitarian pause”.

Speaking to Times Radio on Wednesday morning, Health Secretary Victoria Atkins described both the Labour and SNP motions as “politically naïve”.

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She said: “It’s a shame that such an enormous international event is being now rather overtaken by some parliamentary handling problems for the leader of the opposition.

“We the Government have put an amendment down because we are clear we have this consistent policy in Gaza and towards Israel.

“We want this to end but it has to do so, as I say, with those conditions related to hostages and Hamas in power.

“We are not interested in frankly pretty politically naïve parliamentary procedures that Labour and others seem to be indulging in.”