Foreign Office minister Baroness Warsi has resigned from the government, saying its policy on the crisis in Gaza is “morally indefensible”.
Announcing her resignation this morning, the former Chair of the Conservative Party said that she had written to the Prime Minister “and tendered [her] resignation”.
“I can no longer support Government policy on Gaza,” she wrote.
In her letter to Mr Cameron, Lady Warsi said that the Government’s approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict had been “morally indefensible” and not “in Britain’s national interest”.
With the Prime Minister currently out of the country on holiday, the strongest reaction from his Government to the resignation was issued by George Osborne.
The Chancellor appeared critical of Lady Warsi’s judgment, saying: “This is a disappointing and frankly unnecessary decision. The British Government is working with others in the world to bring peace to Gaza and we do now have a tentative ceasefire which we all hope will hold.”
The resignation is a significant setback for Mr Cameron, who has faced criticism for failing to condemn Israel’s military action in Gaza and its recent apparent air strike on a UN-run school in Rafah more forcefully.
The Rafah shelling, which killed at least 10 Palestinians – four of whom were children aged between five and 12 – provoked recriminations from around the world, including the UN and US.
The Prime Minister said it was “right” to condemn the air strike, but stopped short of endorsing UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s description of the attack as a “moral outrage and a criminal act”.
A Downing Street spokesperson said today: “The Prime Minister regrets that Baroness Warsi has decided to stand down and is grateful for the excellent work that she has done both as a Minister and in Opposition.
“Our policy has always been consistently clear – the situation in Gaza is intolerable and we’ve urged both sides to agree to an immediate and unconditional ceasefire.”
Source: The Independent UK