Sadiq Khan calls for Gaza ceasefire amid pressure on Keir Starmer
The statement comes after more than 150 Labour Muslim councillors wrote to Sir Keir Starmer urging the party leader to call for an immediate ceasefire in the region.
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The mayor warned that “substantial military escalation” will only “deepen the humanitarian disaster.”
In a statement on X, he said: “Many Londoners like me have watched in absolute horror at the death and suffering in Israel and Gaza.
“Londoners’ family members killed, tortured and taken hostage. Lives changed forever. Going through unimaginable trauma. The terrible situation in Gaza now looks set to deteriorate even further.
“Thousands of innocent civilians, men, women and children have already been killed. It’s become impossible for aid to reach the people who desperately need it.
“Substantial military escalation is likely which will only deepen the humanitarian disaster.
“I join the international community in calling for a ceasefire. It will stop the killing and would allow vital aid supplies to reach those who need it in Gaza.
“It would also allow the international community more time to prevent a protracted conflict in the region and further devastating loss of life.
“Israel has a right to defend itself, to target those responsible for the appalling terror attack of October 7 and to take action to free the hostages.
“The international community must redouble its efforts to get the hostages released.
“But a widespread military escalation will only deepen the humanitarian disaster.
“It will increase human suffering on all sides. No nation, including Israel, has the right to break international law.
“There can only ever be a political resolution to achieving peace. It can’t simply be the escalation of military conflict and an ongoing cycle of death, pain and destruction.
“I know a lot of Londoners are struggling right now and I share in that pain too.
“Together, let’s pray for peace in the region, and keep the hope that things can and will one day soon be better.”
The statement comes after more than 150 Labour Muslim councillors wrote to Sir Keir urging the party leader to call for an immediate ceasefire in the region.
The Labour leader has faced criticism since appearing to say Israel had the "right" to cut off water and energy to Gaza.
He later clarified that he meant only that the country had a right to self-defence.
At least 19 Labour councillors have already quit the party over Sir Keir’s stance on the war, including in Cambridge, Nottinghamshire, Gloucester, while some MPs have also been critical about the position the leadership has taken.
More than 30 Labour MPs, as well as former party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who now sits as an independent, have also backed calls for a ceasefire.