Angela Rayner rejects call for a Labour govt to announce immediate Israel arms sale ban

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Angela Rayner rejects call for a Labour govt to announce immediate Israel arms sale ban

In TV debate Labour deputy leader reminds Stephen Flynn of 'barbaric' Oct 7 Hamas attack, but says Labour will review legal advice on arms sales

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Angela Rayner and Stephen Flynn in ITV debate
Angela Rayner and Stephen Flynn in ITV debate

Angela Rayner has rebuffed calls by the SNP’s Stephen Flynn for a possible Labour government to “end arms sale to Israel.”

Speaking during the latest ITV television debate the Labour deputy leader committed her party to reviewing the legal advice over UK arms sales to Israel.

But she said:”Stephen, you know as well as I do, what happened on the 7th of October was barbaric and Israel had the right to defend itself.”

She then added:”However since then the absolute loss of thousands of innocent lives – everyone in the House of all political persuasions have been pushing for a ceasefire, as well as our international counterparts.”

Rayner then said:”If we were in government we would immediately review, as we’ve been asking the government, the legal advice to arms sales to Israel.

“And we will comply with international law.”

Earlier Flynn had said in the televised ITV debate:”Angela, it took four and a half months, and the deaths or injury of almost 100, 000 civilians in Gaza for the Labour Party to back a ceasefire.

“On day one of a Labour government will you end arms sales to Israel?”

Rayner’s response was criticised by SNP former first minister Humza Yousaf, who posted on X/Twitter:”Stephen Flynn asks Labour if they will ban arms to Israel should they form the next government?

“Angela Rayner says a lot, but no confirmation that they would ban arms sales to Israel.How many more children in Gaza have to be killed for Labour and Tories to do the right thing?”

Rayner and Flynn appeared alongside Penny Mordaunt, leader of the Commons, Daisy Cooper, deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats; Nigel Farage, the Reform UK leader; Stephen Flynn Carla Denyer, co-leader of the Greens; and Rhun ap Iorwerth, the Plaid Cymru leader.

In a section of the debate in which all seven participants could ask a question of one other panellist, Mordaunt, Denyer, Flynn and ap Iorwerth directed their queries at Rayner.

Farage targeted Mordaunt, as did Cooper – whose party is targeting dozens of Tory seats – and Rayner. The Labour deputy leader asked Mordaunt if she would welcome Farage into the Conservative party, to which she gave a noncommittal answer.

There were repeated exchanges between Mordaunt and Rayner over tax and spending plans, with the Conservative minister repeatedly citing the much-criticised claim that Labour’s spending plans would cost families about £2,000 in extra taxes.

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