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Starmer makes manifesto pledge to recognise Palestinian state

07 Jun 2024 2 minute read
Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer. Photo James Manning/PA Wire

Recognition of Palestinian statehood as part of any Middle East peace process will be a Labour manifesto pledge, Sir Keir Starmer confirmed as party figures met to sign off on the final policy document.

The Labour leader suggested that such a move should not be blocked by a neighbouring country, saying it was an “inalienable right” of Palestinians and not in “the gift of Israel”.

It comes as shadow ministers including Yvette Cooper, Liz Kendall and Hilary Benn were seen arriving on Friday at the party’s secretive Clause V meeting, where members will hammer out the final version of its manifesto.

During a campaign visit earlier in the morning, Sir Keir told the BBC: “That needs to be part of the process, it’s very important we have a viable Palestinian state alongside a safe and secure Israel.”

Asked whether this will be in the manifesto, he said: “It will be.”

Local elections

The move comes after the party faced setbacks in the local elections in some previously safe areas, particularly those with large Muslim populations, where candidates may have suffered as a result of Sir Keir’s stance on the Gaza war.

It is likely to anger the Israeli government, which reacted with fury when Ireland, Spain and Norway moved to recognise Palestinian statehood last month.

The finer points of Labour’s policy document have been kept tightly under wraps after 2017’s draft manifesto was leaked, with attendees of the party’s Clause V meeting only told its central London location this morning.

The gathering takes its name from the fifth clause of the party rulebook, which seeks to ensure members, affiliated organisations and elected representatives are all able to take part in policy formulation.

Five missions

The document will be based on the party’s five missions for government announced last year on the economy, the NHS, energy, education and planning reform.

Party pledges include the creation of GB Energy, a publicly owned green power company, 40,000 more NHS appointments a week and the recruitment of 6,500 new teachers to plug gaps in the workforce.

The manifesto is then expected to be officially launched on June 13.


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David
David
15 days ago

“That needs to be part of the process, it’s very important we have a viable Palestinian state alongside a safe and secure Israel.” Hopefully Palestine will be safe and secure.

Dewi
Dewi
15 days ago

It has been suggested that the commitment will be watered down from immediate recognition to one when the time is right – another row back!

robin campbell
robin campbell
15 days ago

Sir Keith Starmer has put his grandmother up for sale as research has shown it will win him up to 20 seats around the UK

adopted cardi
adopted cardi
15 days ago

80 years too late Starmer, and won’t be adhered to anyway.

John Brooks
John Brooks
15 days ago

Seems it could be a heavily caveated policy. The majority of countries (143?) in the world recognise Palestine as a state. When mapped there is a clear divide between Western Europe, USA, and Aus/NZ and with the Rest of the World.. About time UK got on the right side of history and started to redress the injustices that have flowed from the 1917 Balfour Declaration.

Richard Davies
Richard Davies
15 days ago

I can’t help but think this isn’t a genuine policy decision but being put out there to try to stem the exodus of Muslim voters that have traditionally voted labour but no longer doing so because of mr keir starmer’s lack of support and sympathy for the numbers of innocent Palestinians being murdered by israel in Gaza.

John Davies
John Davies
15 days ago

Trouble is we all know what a Starmer pledge is worth.

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