Outgoing Foreign Office minister Baroness Warsi today claimed that the UK’s stance on the conflict in Gaza is not consistent with its commitment to the rule of law.
Warsi (pictured), a former solicitor whose portfolio included responsibility for the International Criminal Court, resigned from the government today citing the UK’s policy on the current crisis in the Middle East.
Prime minister David Cameron last month told the House of Commons Israel has the right to defend itself.
In her resignation letter, Warsi said the absence of the expertise and experience of Ken Clarke and former attorney general Dominic Grieve – both removed during last month’s reshuffle – had ‘become very apparent’ since the conflict began.
She added: ‘Particularly as the minister with responsibility for the United Nations, the International Criminal Court and human rights I believe our approach in relation to the current conflict is neither consistent with our values, specifically our commitment to the rule of law and our long history of support for international justice.’
Warsi, who studied law at the University of Leeds, went on to work as a solicitor for the Crown Prosecution Service before setting up her own legal practice.
In a statement on Monday, foreign secretary Philip Hammond said he was ‘appalled’ at reports of civilian casualties in the vicinity of a UN-run school housing Palestinians displaced by the Gaza conflict in the town of Rafah.
He reiterated the need for an ‘immediate and unconditional’ humanitarian ceasfire and added that Hamas must cease the firing of rockets at Israeli communities.
The UN estimates that almost 270,000 people have been displaced throughout the Gaza Strip since the current conflict started last month. Around 1,800 Palestinians and 67 Israelis are thought to have died.
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