KEIR Starmer has repeatedly refused to say a Labour government he leads would uphold any international arrest warrant issued for Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

During a visit to Glasgow, Starmer broke his four-day silence on the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor requesting an arrest warrant for the Israeli leader.

On Monday, ICC chief prosecutor Karim Khan announced he was seeking warrants against Netanyahu and his defence minister Yoav Gallant, as well as three Hamas leaders, for suspected war crimes in Gaza.

The court is expected to take around two months to decide whether or not to issue the arrest warrants, meaning the decision is likely to come soon after the General Election on July 4.

READ MORE: 'Outrageous': UK Government 'undermines' ICC over Netanyahu arrest warrant request

As a member of the ICC, the UK would be expected to honour the warrant and arrest Netanyahu or Gallant if they set foot in the country.

However, as The National previously reported, Starmer had remained silent on the issue.

Speaking to journalists in Glasgow after a Scottish Labour campaign launch at offices owned by multi-millionaire peer William Haughey, Starmer was asked: “If the International Criminal Court issues an arrest warrant for Netanyahu, would you honour it?

“If he came to the UK, would a government that you lead see him arrested?”

He responded: “Well, look, that's a completely hypothetical because, you know the procedure in the court, which is the prosecutor asks or seeks the warrant, the court, in due course, or a chamber within the court, in due course, will make its decision.

“So, we'll wait and see."

The National: Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer during a visit to Gillingham Football club in Gillingham, Kent, while on the General Election campaign trail. Picture date: Thursday May 23, 2024.

Starmer went on: “But, look, we have supported the independence of the court. I believe in the rule of law.

“There's no equivalence, we’ll never accept equivalence between Hamas and Israel, which has its right to self-defence.

“But I believe in the international rule of law and I respect the independence of both the prosecutor and the court, but they've got a decision to make at some point in the future.”

Pressed on whether he would honour any arrest warrant the ICC may issue, Starmer only said: “I will deal with that when the court has made its decision.”

As Starmer took to the stage at the launch, a small group of pro-Palestine protesters were seen being led away by police outside.

Speaking to media inside the event, the Labour leader was further asked how he could prove to pro-Palestine voters that he had the “moral clarity” to be prime minister.

He responded: “I think that, firstly, I understand the concern that people have about the awful situation in Gaza. I don't think anybody could be human and not be aghast at the thousands upon thousands of people who have been killed in Gaza, many of them women and children, a disproportionate number of them women and children.

“And that's why we've long called for a ceasefire now. We passed a resolution, in fact, in the House about this, quite some time ago.

READ MORE: Stephen Flynn warns UK is 'complicit' as ICC seeks arrest warrant for Netanyahu

“Therefore I think actually, that in first step, is common ground if you like, and the purpose of that ceasefire is obviously to get hostages out, to get desperately needed aid in, desperately needed because of the catastrophic situation, and to open a path to a two-state solution and the recognition of Palestine as part of that. A viable Palestinian state alongside a safe and secure Israel.

“I actually think there's a lot of common ground there. But, wherever someone has not felt able to vote Labour I want to regain their trust, but I think that that common ground is very, very important.”

The ICC request for arrest warrants has divided international allies, with countries such as the US and Israel decrying the decision. The UK Government has – incorrectly – claimed the ICC does not have the necessary jurisdiction.

However, other nations such as France, Belgium and Slovenia have backed the move.

All of the 27 EU member states are members of the ICC, and the EU’s foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell has said they are all “bound to execute the court's decisions".