Labour MPs must be held to account over failure to vote on Yemen campaign

Mourners in Sana’a bury the coffin of Major-General Omar bin Halles Yafei and his son Captain Mohammed Omar Yafei, who were killed by an apparent Saudi-led airstrike on a wake attended by some of the country’s top political and security officials [Image: Mohamed Al-Sayaghi/Reuters].

Mourners in Sana’a bury the coffin of Major-General Omar bin Halles Yafei and his son Captain Mohammed Omar Yafei, who were killed by an apparent Saudi-led airstrike on a wake attended by some of the country’s top political and security officials [Image: Mohamed Al-Sayaghi/Reuters].

This deserves further investigation as there seems much more to it than simply another attempt to backstab Jeremy Corbyn.

If it is more backstabbing, then it has backfired. Public opinion is against the UK helping a foreign country to commit war crimes.

If nothing else, it weakens our argument against Russian military activities in Syria.

Some Labour MPs were absent from the vote for good reason; others were not. A list of all those who were missing follows this excerpt from the Guardian‘s report:

Dozens of Labour MPs are facing a backlash for being absent from their party’s motion to withdraw UK support from Saudi Arabia’s war on Yemen, with Emily Thornberry, the shadow foreign secretary, calling their actions disappointing.

Thornberry said the motion would have sent a message to the government that MPs do not want to back the war without an independent UN investigation into whether the Saudi-led coalition is breaking humanitarian law.

About 100 Labour MPs were missing or deliberately abstained from the vote on Wednesday, which failed by 283 votes to 193, although several dozen were given authorised absences by the whips.

In response, Thornberry, who argued for the motion from the Labour frontbench, said she was disappointed with her colleagues for abstaining and disgusted with the Conservatives who voted against withdrawing support from Saudi Arabia.

One Labour MP, who is not supportive of the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, but voted for the motion, said he was frustrated and upset that a number of his colleagues were “using the issue as a way of trying to beat Jeremy”.

Source: Labour MPs face backlash over failure to vote on Yemen campaign | World news | The Guardian


More than 90 per cent of SNP MPs supported Jeremy Corbyn’s motion to halt sales of arms to Saudi Arabia for its war with Yemen – and fewer than 60 per cent of Labour MPs. It seems many Labour MPs have a lot of explaining to do – not just to their constituents but to the people of Yemen [Image: Eoin Clarke].

[More than] 100 Labour MPs did not vote on the motion. If all of them had voted to support it, the government would have been defeated.

The following [is an incomplete] list [of] the Labour MPs who abstained or were not present for the vote.

  1. Adrian Bailey
  2. Andy Burnham
  3. Angela Eagle
  4. Angela Smith
  5. Ann Clwyd
  6. Ann Coffey
  7. Anna Turley
  8. Barry Sheerman
  9. Ben Bradshaw
  10. Bridgit Phillipson
  11. Caroline Flint
  12. Catherine McKinnell
  13. Chris Bryant
  14. Chris Elmore (Teller)
  15. Chris Evans
  16. Chris Leslie
  17. Clive Lewis (ill)
  18. Connor McGinn
  19. Dan Jarvis
  20. David Crausby
  21. David Lammy
  22. Diana Johnson
  23. Fiona MacTaggart
  24. Frank Field
  25. Gareth Thomas
  26. Gavin Shuker
  27. Geoffrey Robinson
  28. George Howarth
  29. Gerald Kaufman
  30. Gill Furniss
  31. Gisela Stuart
  32. Gloria De Piero
  33. Graeme Jones
  34. Graham Allen
  35. Graham Stringer
  36. Heidi Alexander
  37. Helen Jones
  38. Ian Austin
  39. Ian Murray
  40. Ivan Lewis
  41. Jamie Reed
  42. Jim Fitzpatrick
  43. Joan Ryan
  44. John Mann
  45. John Spellar
  1. John Woodcock
  2. Judith Cummins (Teller)
  3. Julie Elliott
  4. Kate Hoey
  5. Keith Vaz
  6. Kevan Jones
  7. Kevin Barron
  8. Liz Kendall
  9. Luciana Berger
  10. Lucy Powell
  11. Madeleine Moon
  12. Margaret Beckett
  13. Margaret Hodge
  14. Maria Eagle
  15. Mark Hendrick
  16. Mary Creagh
  17. Meg Hillier
  18. Melanie Onn
  19. Michael Dugher
  20. Mike Gapes
  21. Natascha Engel
  22. Neil Coyle
  23. Nia Griffith
  24. Pat McFadden
  25. Paul Flynn
  26. Peter Kyle
  27. Phil Wilson
  28. Rachel Reeves
  29. Rob Flello
  30. Rob Marris
  31. Roberta Blackman-Woods
  32. Rosena Allin-Khan
  33. Rosie Cooper
  34. Rushanara Ali
  35. Ruth Smeeth
  36. Shabana Mahmood
  37. Siobhain McDonagh
  38. Stephen Kinnock
  39. Susan Jones
  40. Toby Perkins
  41. Tom Blenkinsopp
  42. Tom Watson
  43. Tracy Brabin
  44. Tristram Hunt
  45. Vernon Coaker
  46. Wayne David
  47. Wes Streeting
  48. Yasmin Qureshi
  49. Yvonne Fovargue

Source: Here’s a list of Labour MPs who abstained on a bill to withdraw support from Saudi Arabia’s murderous war in Yemen |

10 thoughts on “Labour MPs must be held to account over failure to vote on Yemen campaign

  1. casalealex

    Many of these abstainees are the usual suspects, who appear to be voting (or not) against the proposer of this humane motion rather than the motion itself. This result will go down in the annals of ‘political’ infamy! I would humbly suggest that constituents of these hostile warmongering reprobates, should let them know, in no uncertain terms, that their days are numbered and they will not be voting for them to keep their seats.

  2. Shaun Wilde

    Jeremy Corbyn has been very careful to avoid calling for the deselection of certain Labour MPs. However, if some of them continue to behave in this manner, then there surely must be questions raised by their CLPs as to their suitability to represent the party in parliament.

  3. Roland Laycock

    Every one a low life I only hope when terrorist do finaly turn up in the UK as they keep telling us they will, its these people that get it first and not some poor innocent person they should be made to give there reason for they crime agains humanity

  4. Ian

    Jamie Reed et al. Kell supreez. The list reads like a register of people you wouldn’t trust to walk your dog.

    So what’s their comuppance? How do they get deselected? Is Corbyn going to keep letting these berks walk all over him?

  5. John Spencer-Davis

    How comes it that Labour List reports that “dozens” of Labour MPs were given authorised absences from a 3-line whip? Is there any way we can get hold of a list of authorised absences?

  6. Paul Richard O'Neill

    Rosie Cooper is recovering from a knee replacement op. She replied to a tweet when I asked her why she didn’t vote.
    Anna Turley claims that the wording was wrong and she stayed away following a letter from a Yemeni ambassador asking her not to support the motion.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Thanks for that information; as I mentioned, some were away for good reasons. It is useful to have details.

  7. Vanda

    The same old Blairite snout-in-the-trough, in it for themselves apologists who should now be deselected at the first opportunity. They obviously care nothing for what their constituents think, the majority of whom would certainly not want their MP, representing them, to abstain on the issue of bombing, killing and starving innocent children. But we’re not surprised are we, since most of these callous individuals voted for the Iraq war and love Blair, and his policies, with a passion. Boot them out of our party now – we dont want to be associated with these blots on the landscapes, stains on humanity.

  8. Lin Wren

    Revolting & despicable behaviour. Once again they are proving that they are not fit for purpose. So they think it is acceptable to ignore the inhumane suffering of an innocent people do they? Or is it just nasty spite? Regardless I sincerely agree they should be questioned & if necessary deselected. They do not represent anyone else but their ugly selves.

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