Starmer suspends MP over Israel speech outrage as he ignites fuse in explosive Labour row

Starmer suspends MP over Israel speech outrage as he ignites fuse in explosive Labour row

A senior Labour MP has been suspended after using a 'deeply offensive' phrase during a speech at a a pro-Palestine protest

Getty/ PA
Georgina Cutler

By Georgina Cutler


Published: 30/10/2023

- 18:30

Updated: 30/10/2023

- 18:58

The phrase used by the Labour MP was described as a 'significant concern to many'

A senior Labour MP has been suspended after using a “deeply offensive” phrase during a speech at a a pro-Palestine protest.

Andy McDonald faced backlash after using the controversial slogan “from the river to the sea” to share his backing for Palestine over the weekend.


During the rally, he said: "We won't rest until we have justice. Until all people, Israelis and Palestinians, between the river and the sea, can live in peaceful liberty."

Downing Street condemned the use of the phrase - referring to the land between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea -as "not acceptable".

Rishi Sunak’s official spokesman said the the phrase was of “significant concern to many”.

McDonald was initially not expected to face disciplinary action but after internal discussions on Monday he has had the party whip suspended.

A Labour spokesperson said: "The comments made by Andy McDonald at the weekend were deeply offensive, particularly at a time of rising antisemitism which has left Jewish people fearful for their safety.

"The chief whip has suspended the Labour whip from Andy McDonald, pending an investigation."

More to follow...

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