Ex-Foreign Office (FCO) Minister Baroness Warsi says the government has “ignored” Monday’s historic vote to recognize Palestine as a state, claiming she received a “stock answer” when she asked senior ministers what their response would be.
Warsi made the comments on her social media page after raising the question in the House of Lords on Wednesday.
“My question @UKHouseofLords today asked for the Governments position on #RecognisePalestine. Sadly got ‘stock answer,’ ignored Mondays vote,” she tweeted.
When asking about the “specific criteria” of the government’s response to Monday’s vote, she was told by FCO Minister Baroness Anelay that the government would make a decision “at a time of our choosing, when we think it will best bring about peace.”
“Clearly you judge criteria on a fluid system – you watch, you wait, you encourage the Middle East peace process to continue but one doesn’t give up,” Anelay added.
Warsi’s question was her first official statement made in Parliament since she resigned from her government post in protest over the government’s “morally indefensible” policy on Gaza during Israel’s Operation Protective Edge earlier this year.
In her official resignation letter, Warsi also said that the government’s stance on Israel’s offensive was “not in Britain’s national interest” and would have “a long-term effect on our reputation internationally and domestically.”
MPs voted to recognize an ‘official’ state of Palestine on Monday, with 274 MPs supporting the motion and 12 voting against. However, a number of politicians including Prime Minister David Cameron and pro-Palestine activist George Galloway chose to abstain.
“This House believes that the Government should recognize the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution,” the motion read.
Despite many predicting that the motion would fail, MPs recognized it could set a precedent for the future of a Palestinian state. Some ministers, including Labour MP Grahame Morris, called it a “historic opportunity” to take a “small but symbolic” step to support self-determination for Palestine.
Speaking to RT before Monday’s vote, Morris said “the Palestinians should have a just and lasting peace, and they have the same right to security and the prosperity as the Israelis.”
While the motion passed by an overwhelming majority, it is not binding and will not signal any form of policy change between the UK and Israeli governments.