Sir Peter calls for debate on Israel crisis

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Louth MP Sir Peter Tapsell has called for a full-scale Parliamentary debate on the middle east crisis.

Speaking in the House of Commons on Tuesday, Sir Peter, the Father of the House, called on William Hague, the Foreign Minister, to ‘arrange a full-scale parliamentary debate on the middle east in prime time next week, with time limits on backbench speeches of not less than 15 minutes,’.

Sir Peter said he wanted a ‘proper backbench debate and not a series of soundbites’.

William Hague said it would be a ‘tragedy’ if comments were limited to 15 minutes.

Jack Straw, the Labour MP, responded: “Given that the experience of the past decade or more is that Israel pockets any concession made by the west to accommodate its position and then not only does nothing but makes the situation worse—by illegal settlement building, for example—will the Foreign Secretary please reconsider his position on the British Government’s refusal to vote for the United Nations General Assembly resolution?

“He is a man of great fluency, and he normally convinces the House with his arguments, but I find his reason for that refusal utterly incomprehensible. It is not that I disagree with it; I simply do not understand why our voting for the resolution would make the situation worse. Surely it would make it much better.

Mr Hague said that for the sake of clarity ‘the Government have taken no decision yet on how to vote on the resolution’.