Flynn ‘deeply confused’ by Sarwar statement on Gaza motion contact

SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn has said he is “deeply confused” as to why Anas Sarwar claimed Labour whips had been in contact with his party about its Gaza motion.

Mr Flynn’s party has forced a vote in the Commons, pushing for an immediate ceasefire in the region.

Speaking to the BBC on Sunday, the Scottish Labour leader said there had been contact between the two parties’ whips on a potential deal to support the motion.

“I’m deeply confused that Anas Sarwar took it upon himself to go on national television and to effectively lie and mislead the people of Scotland regarding Labour whips speaking to SNP whips,” he said after an event with First Minister Humza Yousaf in Aberdeen.

“That has not happened – that is categorically untrue.

“I think that does Anas Sarwar a deep dis-service – maybe he’s been spun a line by UK Labour and he’s fallen for it, but it hasn’t happened.”

On Sunday, Mr Flynn offered a meeting to Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer to discuss the vote, due to take place on Wednesday – but he stressed the aim of an immediate ceasefire must not be watered down.

“If there’s an opportunity for him to back our motion in relation to an immediate ceasefire, I’d like to have that discussion,” Mr Flynn said.

Anas Sarwar
Anas Sarwar was accused of misleading the people of Scotland (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Shadow foreign secretary David Lammy told broadcasters on Sunday the party was still considering its approach to the motion.

Asked if he would consider changes to the party’s motion, the SNP Westminster leader said: “I believe in an immediate ceasefire and I would encourage other party leaders to do likewise.”

Mr Flynn went on to claim the “appeasement of the UK Government simply isn’t working”.

“You can’t have 30,000 people killed, 70,000 injured, 1.4 million people sitting in Rafah which is usually home to about 170,000 to 180,000 people being bombarded by the Israeli Defence Force (IDF), and the United Kingdom, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, a close ally of Israel, who of course have a vote in the United Nations, who sell arms to Israel, just sits back, sits silent, doesn’t do anything,” he said.

He added that history is “not going to be judging many people in Westminster particularly well”.

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