Rishi Sunak SACKS parliamentary aide who demanded Gaza ceasefireOctober 30, 2023
Rishi Sunak piles pressure on ‘spineless’ Keir Starmer as he SACKS parliamentary aide Paul Bristow for defying him with demand for a ‘permanent ceasefire’ in Gaza
Rishi Sunak tonight piled pressure on Sir Keir Starmer by sacking a parliamentary aide who defied him by demanding a ‘permanent ceasefire’ in Gaza.
The Prime Minister removed Paul Bristow from his Government role for rebelling against his stance on the Middle East crisis.
The Peterborough MP will no longer serve as a Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) at the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology.
Mr Sunak acted after Mr Bristow used social media to express his support for a ceasefire.
He also wrote to the PM to push for an end to fighting between Israel and Hamas.
The Prime Minister removed Peterborough MP Paul Bristow from his Government role for rebelling against his stance on the Middle East crisis
Rishi Sunak, pictured today with his wife Akshata Murty, acted after Mr Bristow used social media to express his support for a ceasefire
Mr Bristow, who was elected MP for Peterborough at the 2019 general election, wrote on Facebook last week: ‘We need a ceasefire.’
Sir Keir Starmer is currently experiencing one of the biggest crises of his party leadership after a string of senior Labour figures defied his position on Israel
No10 sources said Mr Bristow’s removal as a PPS showed how Mr Sunak was ‘ruthless’ compared to ‘spineless’ Sir Keir.
The Labour leader is currently experiencing one of the biggest crises of his party leadership after a string of senior figures defied his position on Israel.
More than half a dozen Labour frontbenchers have publicly called for ceasefire in the Middle East.
This is despite Sir Keir having repeatedly backed Israel’s right to defend itself in the wake of the Hamas terror attacks on 7 October.
Despite the public rebellion against him, the Labour leader has shown little appetite for taking action against his revolting MPs.
Mr Bristow, who was elected MP for Peterborough at the 2019 general election, wrote on Facebook last week: ‘Ordinary Palestinians are not Hamas.
‘I struggle to see how Israel is any safer following thousands of deaths of innocent Palestinians.
‘They should not suffer collective punishment for the crimes of Hamas. We need a ceasefire.’
In his letter to the PM, which he also posted to social media, Mr Bristow added: ‘A permanent ceasefire would save lives and allow for a continued column of humanitarian aid can reach the people who need it the most.’
Explaining Mr Sunak’s decision to sack Mr Bristow as a PPS in the wake of his comments, a senior Number 10 source said: ‘It’s very important we speak with one voice.
‘There are real consequences in the Middle East and at home if we go wobbly.
‘If we’d suffered a terror attack we’d expect our allies to support us in self defence.’
Mr Sunak has expressed support for a ‘humanitarian pause’ in hostilies between Israel and Hamas to allow for the safe delivery of aid to civilians.
But the PM has continued to reject calls for a full ceasefire, with Downing Street Street arguing the move would ‘only serve to benefit Hamas’.
A Number 10 spokesperson said: ‘Paul Bristow has been asked to leave his post in government following comments that were not consistent with the principles of collective responsibility.’
Sir Keir has also supported a ‘humanitarian pause’ but has not backed a ceasefire, despite increasing pressure on him to do so from Labour MPs.
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