Cheney Payne Statement on Gaza

17 Jun 2024
Cheney Payne

"As a candidate to be your next MP, one of the most common questions I am asked is my views on the conflict in Gaza.  The complexity and delicacy of the current situation means some politicians have been hesitant to make their views clear.  As a Liberal Democrat, I believe in a fair, free and open society, and this guides my responses to international and local issues."

"The devastation that we have seen unfold over the last few months in Israel and Gaza, with the terrible terrorist attacks on 7 October and the subsequent conflict in Gaza which has seen thousands of innocent Palestinians killed, has been horrifying. There is a humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza, with the health system having collapsed and international institutions warning of the risk of famine. There is the tragic ongoing hostage crisis, with over 100 Israelis still being held hostage by Hamas, following the atrocities of October 7. They should be unconditionally released.  The Rafah offensive overnight is further evidence that Palestinians in Gaza simply have nowhere to go.  I am also very concerned about the way that this conflict has turned the entire region into a tinderbox, on the brink of serious escalation."

"The Lib Dem Foreign Affairs spokesperson, and the first British-Palestinian MP, Layla Moran has been the lead advocate on this issue in the Commons, and has for months been calling for an immediate bilateral ceasefire.  We urgently need to stop the humanitarian devastation in Gaza, get the hostages out and make the space for a political process leading to a two-state solution and a lasting peace." 

"The Lib Dems were also the first party to call for the UK government to stop selling offensive arms to Israel. Lib Dem leader Ed Davey has also called for sanctions to be placed on far-right Israeli Ministers, Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich, who have been supporting extremist settlers in the West Bank."  

"As a city councillor, I supported this motion on Palestine-Israel, which condemns the attack by Hamas, calls for an immediate ceasefire and looks to investigate the implications of stopping banking with Barclays due to their investment and provision of financial services to companies arming Israel."

"The Liberal Democrats would take this a step further however and believe the UK government should play one of the strongest cards we can: immediately recognising Palestine as a state.  This would provide hope for millions of Palestinians that peace is possible. If elected to be your MP on July 4th , I will be an advocate for a peaceful, two-state solution to the conflict that ensures a fair deal for Israelis and Palestinians."

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