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I am aware that many constituents are concerned I did not vote last week on the SNP’s Amendment to the King’s Speech, calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

I want to underline unequivocally, my support for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, and my deep frustration to be unable to vote last week. My position on the humanitarian crisis for civilians in Gaza is crystal clear, and I have made several public statements to this effect.

I readily understand concerns that my established position on Gaza may appear at odds with my not having voted on this occasion. A number of constituents have been in touch directly with me to query the situation, so I am writing today to provide important clarity on this matter.

For context, in the UK Parliament, MPs are prevented from voting remotely if they are not in Parliament and cannot have a proxy vote unless required for medical reasons.

At the time of the vote, I was on an overseas cross-party Parliamentary delegation of three MPs and therefore could not be physically present to vote. This delegation consisted of myself, one Tory and one Labour MP. This political balance had the effect of equalising the combined absence, thereby causing no material effect on the vote outcome.

I am proud that the SNP brought forward an amendment which called unequivocally for a ceasefire, and I am pleased that as a member of the SNP’s Executive at Westminster I had a key role in shaping the text of our amendment. I am nevertheless saddened at the way this basic humanitarian ambition was voted down by the two main UK parties.

We need an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, Hamas must release the hostages they have taken, and international actors must exert all available pressure to reach a sustainable and lasting peace settlement based on a two-state solution.

Despite the fact that our amendment was defeated, I and my SNP colleagues will continue to push for an immediate ceasefire, and to urge the UK Government to work towards ending the collective punishment of the people of Gaza, and the unfolding humanitarian catastrophe there.

I hope the detail above demonstrates the depth of my resolve on this matter and the reality behind my inability to vote on this occasion.

If constituents have any further questions regarding my position on Gaza, I would be more than happy to speak with them, either by email, telephone or at an upcoming surgery appointment. Please get in touch with my office to arrange this, if required.

Yours sincerely

Dave Doogan MP

You can download a PDF version of this letter via the button below.

Dave Doogan Letter re: Gaza Ceasefire
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