Sunak praises Starmer for supporting ‘Israel’s right to defend itself’ in tetchy TV debate

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Sunak praises Starmer for supporting ‘Israel’s right to defend itself’ in tetchy TV debate

The Prime Minister and Rishi Sunak repeatedly interrupted one another in the first TV election debate, but agreed on Israel

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak clash during ITV election debate
Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak clash during ITV election debate

Rishi Sunak has praised Keir Starmer for supporting Israel’s “right to defend itself” after the October 7th Hamas terror attack during an often tetchy first TV election debate.

In one of the few instances where the Tory and Labour leaders agreed during Tuesday’s ITV ,the Prime Minister said:“I am pleased Keir Starmer supported, alongside me, Israel’s right to defend itself in the face of the atrocious attack they suffered.”

Sunak then noted the ceasefire deal put forward by US president Joe Biden which he said the government “strongly support together with our allies to bring an immediate end to the hostilities, release the hostages and get more aid in and build towards a lasting settlement with a two-state solution.”

Stamer said:”It’s a very grave situation. Firstly we need to get the hostages out, they have been held for a very long time. I dread to think what the state that they are in.”

He added:”We desperately need humanitarian aid into Gaza, it is catastrophic.”We have to find a path to a lasting resolution, that has to be two state solution, but we need to show leadership on that.”

But Sunak responded claiming Starmer had “not matched” his pledge to invest in defence in the UK.

The Labour leader described his claim as “desperate.” 

During the hour long debate, Sunak repeatedly claimed Labour would raise taxes by £2000.

Host Julie Etchingham repeatedly failed to stop both leaders interrupting one another.

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