Minister urged to apologise to British-Palestinian MP over peace plan comments

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Minister urged to apologise to British-Palestinian MP over peace plan comments

SNP's Gavin Newlands calls on Middle East minister Andrew Murrison to say sorry to Layla Moran over remarks made in the Commons on Thursday

Layla Moran in the Commons
Layla Moran in the Commons

An MP has called for Foreign Office minister Andrew Murrison to apologise to British-Palestinian MP Layla Moran following a debate on a Middle East peace plan.

On Tuesday, US president Donald Trump unveiled a peace plan for Israel and Palestine alongside Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which had no input from Palestinian leaders.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he believed the plan offers a two-state solution and urged Palestinian leaders to engage with it.

Following an urgent question in the Commons on the plan, Liberal Democrat Layla Moran, the first MP of British-Palestinian descent, quoted an interview Mr Johnson gave with the Jerusalem Post in March 2017 when he was foreign secretary.

In the article, Mr Johnson was quoted as saying: “What we are saying is that you have to have a two-state solution or else you have a kind of apartheid system. You have to go for a two-state approach, that is the long-standing position of the government.”

Ms Moran then asked: “This plan is not the basis for a viable two-state solution, so does he then accept that in (Mr Johnson’s) words these are baby steps towards an apartheid system that we should reject outright?”

Responding, Mr Murrison said: “Well, I think she needs to be a little bit careful with her language, if I may say so.”

Later, SNP MP Gavin Newlands called for Mr Murrison to apologise.

He said: “I think the minister telling the only British-Palestinian in this place to watch her language is actually regrettable and he should think on that and apologise.”

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