Peredur Condemns Labour Government For Lack of Action Over Gaza


A Plaid Cymru MS has said the Labour Government’s “shrinking violet” response to the war in Gaza is “disappointing.”

Peredur Owen Griffiths MS was reacting to a letter received from Labour First Minister Vaughan Gething who was quizzed about his government’s stance on Gaza.

Last month, Peredur used FMQs to ask the Labour Government to make an unequivocal statement on an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

In his response in the Siambr, Mr Gething MS said it had been the position of the Government for “some time” that there should be an immediate ceasefire.    

This exchange prompted Peredur to write to the First Minister asking for clarification on when the government had made this assertion and what they had done to bring about an immediate and permanent ceasefire.

In his reply, the Labour First Minister wrote: ‘Whilst foreign policy is not devolved, the Welsh Government has repeatedly called for humanitarian pauses, as well as supporting calls for a ceasefire during the Senedd debate on 7 November 2023.

‘In line with convention around reserved matters, Welsh Ministers abstained from voting during the November debate, but that does not mean that the Welsh Government’s position is not clear.

‘My predecessor called for a ceasefire during his final First Minister’s Questions on 19 March in response to a question from Mabon ap Gwynfor about the provision of aid to Gaza. He also wrote to the Leader of the Opposition in December 2023 stating that there was a growing consensus in Wales that the Labour Party should strongly support the United Nation’s position on a ceasefire.

‘The Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice reiterated these views most recently on 1 May 2024. There is a growing international consensus for a ceasefire, which the Welsh Government supports.’

Peredur said: “I was disappointed by the response of the First Minister. He produced flimsy evidence of his assertion that his government has unilaterally backed an immediate and permanent ceasefire for “some time.”

“The odd comment here and there from individual government ministers does not constitute a government position in my view.

“It was no wonder therefore that his comments in plenary about a ceasefire took everyone by surprise. 

“He then claims the government minister’s abstentions in the Plaid Cymru-led debate for a ceasefire were in line with convention around reserved matters but there was no such reluctance to vote by Government ministers on a foreign policy issue on March 9th 2022 when there was a Senedd debate on the war in Ukraine.”

He added: “Most important and damning of all, the First Minister provided no evidence of how his government has broadcast their recent conversion to an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza. One can only presume that there is little or nothing to report on the matter.

“As hundreds of thousands of Gazans stand on the brink, with Israeli Defence Forces edging closer to their last refuge, this is extremely disappointing.

“A major humanitarian disaster is worsening every day in Gaza due to a severe lack of food, medical facilities and supplies.

“This is no time for the Labour Government to become a bystander or a shrinking violet. 

“They should be lobbying the UK Government to get tougher on Israel and stop arm shipments as well as making representations to Israel that the destruction and killing in Gaza is unacceptable.

“The Labour Government should also implement a policy of divestment in Israel until peace is restored.

"They should join me in encouraging a boycott similar to the one used effectively against apartheid South Africa.

“People are justifiably angry by their lack of response and enthusiasm to hold Israel to account.”  

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  • Gareth Llewellyn
    published this page in News 2024-05-22 10:22:40 +0100

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