Sadiq Khan calls for ‘pausing all sales of weapons’ to Israel

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Sadiq Khan calls for ‘pausing all sales of weapons’ to Israel

Mayor of London questions why the government has failed to publish the legal advice on UK arms sales to Israel

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Sadiq Khan speaks to Jewish News
Sadiq Khan speaks to Jewish News

Sadiq Khan has called for the government to hold the Israel “to account” by “pausing all sales of weapons.”

The mayor of London cast doubt on the “special relationship” Rishi Sunak claims to have with Benjamin Netanyahu adding:”“Where is the evidence that we’re using that influence to put pressure on the Israeli government? I worry, every hour this war goes on, more innocent people are dying.”

Khan said: “It’s got to stop.”

The PM came under increasing pressure as The Liberal Democrats, Scottish National Party (SNP) and a former UK national security adviser also calling for sales to be suspended now.

Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey on Wednesday said:”The government must take swift action to suspend arms exports to Israel. ”

Officials in the Department for Business and Trade (DBT) also raised concerns with senior civil servants that they may be liable if it is deemed Israel has broken international law.

Speaking to the Politics Joe website, Khan reiterated a call for  Hamas to release all Israeli hostages seized during the October 7th  massacre.

But he then turned to what he said was a  “targeted” Israeli strike on a marked aid convoy run by the food charity World Central Kitchen, which killed three Britons, a Palestinian, a US-Canadian dual citizen, a Pole and an Australian.“

“In my view, the fact the government is not publishing the legal advice, one can only draw one conclusion,” Khan said.

“I think the government should be pausing all sales of weapons to Israel. I think we should be holding to account the Israeli government.”

Asked if UK arms sales should be stopped immediately, Khan said: “I can see no reason not to. The government has now had weeks to publish the legal advice – they’ve not published it.”

former national security advisor Lord Ricketts called for the UK to halt arms sales, saying it would send a “powerful message” and encourage a similar debate in the United States.

“I think there’s abundant evidence now that Israel hasn’t been taking enough care to fulfil its obligations on the safety of civilians,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

Conservative MP Paul Bristow said the idea British-made arms could be used in action that kills innocent civilians in Gaza “turns the stomach,” adding the deaths of British aid workers “must be a line in the sand”.

A letter sent to the prime minister Sunak on Wednesday was signed by 600 lawyers, academics and retired senior judges – among them three former supreme court justices, including the court’s former president Brenda Hale – who claimed the UK was breaching international law by continuing to arm Israel.

On Wednesday evening, Sunak said arms licences were kept under “careful” review according to “regulations and procedures that we’ll always follow”.

The government does not directly supply Israel with weapons, but does grant export licences for British companies to sell arms to the country.

Foreign Office minister Andrew Mitchell recently telling MPs that UK exports accounted for just 0.02% of Israel’s military imports.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: