Baroness Warsi Resigns Due to Government’s Policy on Gaza
Baroness Warsi, once a close ally of the prime minister, has resigned from her position due to the British government’s policy on the crisis in Gaza.
Lady Warsi, who held the position as Senior Minister of State at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Minister for Faith and Communities at the Department for Communities and Local Government, wrote on Twitter on Tuesday: “With deep regret I have this morning written to the Prime Minister & tendered my resignation. I can no longer support Govt policy on #Gaza.”
The Baroness, previously the Chairman of the Conservative Party, stated in her resignation letter that the Government’s stance is “morally indefensible, is not in Britain’s national interest and will have a long term effect on our reputation internationally and domestically”, adding that her decision to resign “has not been easy” and is done with “deep regret”.
Calling on Twitter for further international action to end the current crisis in Gaza, Lady Warsi wrote on Twitter on 21 July: “The killing of innocent civilians must stop. Need immediate ceasefire in #Gaza. Leadership required on both sides to stop this suffering.” Later asking for people to “stop trying to justify the killing of children”, the Baroness stated: “Whatever our politics there can never be justification, surely only regret #Gaza.”
Operation Protective Edge, launched by Israel on 8 July, had the stated intention of defending the country from rocket attacks launched by Hamas. The four-week conflict has resulted in the deaths of 1,800 Palestinians and 67 Israelis.
David Cameron has been called on by Backbench Conservative MPs to take a more robust stand on the issue, with the Israeli response to the crisis being considered disproportionate. The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemned the recent attack by Israel in a UN-run school in Gaza. Though the Prime Minister condoned the Secretary General speaking out against the attack on Monday, he would not say if he agreed that the act had been a criminal one or “a moral outrage”.
The Prime Minister stated: “Hamas displays no regard for human life and must cease firing rockets into Israel and digging tunnels to facilitate the murder of civilians. But sustainable security for Israel cannot be achieved simply by permanent blockade, aerial bombardment and periodic ground incursion.”
Baroness Warsi has said that there is “great unease” within the Foreign Office over “the way recent decisions are being made” in the Government. The Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said that it was no “secret” that differing opinions existed within the government over Gaza, with the Lady herself having “strong views” on the current crisis.
London Mayor Boris Johnson, a fellow Conservative, said he had “great respect” for Lady Warsi, who was the first female Muslim cabinet minister when David Cameron took office in 2010. He added: “She has done a great job for us and I hope she will be back as soon as possible.”