Gaza resignation exposes splits among Conservatives

Policy-based resignation: Baroness Warsi's decision to leave the government over Gaza is the first resignation on a matter of principle in more than a decade - since Clare Short resigned over Iraq (as far as we can tell).

Policy-based resignation: Baroness Warsi’s decision to leave the government over Gaza is the first resignation on a matter of principle in more than a decade – since Clare Short resigned over Iraq (as far as we can tell).

This blog has had very little time for Sayeeda Warsi in the past.

When she pleaded to stay in the cabinet, back in 2012, claiming she fits the demographics of all the people the Tories need to get voting for them at the next general election, being a woman who is not white, from an urban area in the North, who is – she claimed – working class… this blog mocked her. And rightly so.

But Vox Political also praised her honesty when she admitted failing to declare rental income. She was let off the hook, but that is a reflection on the corruption in Parliamentary affairs, not on her.

Perhaps we have seen that rare (in a Tory) streak of honesty again today, motivating the Foreign Office minister to resign over what she described as her own government’s “morally indefensible” policy on the crisis in Gaza.

Her resignation letter went on to state that the Coalition government’s policy was “not in Britain’s national interest and will have a long-term effect on our reputation internationally and domestically”.

She added that the decision “has not been easy” but there is “great unease” within the Foreign Office over “the way recent decisions are being made”.

Lady Warsi, who was also minister for Faith and Communities, stated: “I must be able to live with myself for the decisions I took or the decisions I supported. By staying in government at this time I do not feel that I can be sure of that.”

She is not the only Conservative to be suffering doubts over the government’s position. The UK’s abstention from a UN vote to investigate possible human rights breaches in the disputed territory has been extremely controversial, and several backbench Tories have called on David Cameron to take a firm stance with Israel over its “disproportionate” actions in Gaza.

Commenters on this blog and elsewhere have voiced the belief that Cameron is supporting “the money”.

Labour has praised Baroness Warsi for the principled position she has taken. The Opposition Party led by Ed Miliband (himself accused of Zionism by many) has consistently opposed the Israeli incursion into Gaza.

Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander said his party had “repeatedly urged the Prime Minister to… speak out against the horrific loss of life witnessed in recent weeks, but he has so far failed to do so.”

He said Labour welcomed a decision by Israel to withdraw its forces, “but both sides must now fully respect the ceasefire to prevent further suffering and loss of life.

“In the longer term, both sides must also act to address the underlying causes of this conflict, and it must be recognised that Palestinian statehood is not a gift to be given but a right to be recognised.”

Considering his government’s plans for human rights here in the UK, it seems unlikely that Cameron will accept such a notion.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

Buy Vox Political books!
Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook
The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:


Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
ou can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards


  1. punterthoughts August 5, 2014 at 4:22 pm - Reply

    I am sure there are splits within the Labour Party, just not openly expressed on this issue. I admire the Baroness for resigning.

  2. jaypot2012 August 5, 2014 at 5:53 pm - Reply

    I too admire anyone who sticks by their principles – even if it means losing a job and income – OK, she may not need the money but that’s not the point.
    Being part of a corrupt government is one thing, but to be a part of a government who are basically “condoning” what is going on, and to be honest, that’s also how they feel about the people of this country and their human rights.
    Cameron IS sticking by the money and is following the USA, except for saying a plain “No”, they abstained – but only to make themselves look a bit better when they are not!

  3. amnesiaclinic August 5, 2014 at 6:44 pm - Reply

    Hi Mike, thanks for this but the link to the resignation letter came up as error 404 page not found? Is it possible to fix this?

    • Support August 5, 2014 at 9:46 pm - Reply

      It was just a link to the BBC News website report. Maybe they’ve changed it. Hmm…
      Easy enough to fix.

  4. Thomas M August 6, 2014 at 1:09 am - Reply

    I don’t like her, especially if she wants to have severely disabled people who can’t look after themselves put down, as I heard somewhere. But it makes a big change for a minister to resign over policy rather than because of a sex scandal/financial scandal.

Leave A Comment