Skip to main content

Top Tory minister Baroness Warsi resigns over government policy on Palestine and Gaza

Outgoing Foreign Office minister says 'morally indefensible' policies will negatively impact reputation 'internationally and domestically'

The Tory Party started showing its cracks yesterday when Foreign Office minister Baroness Warsi stormed out of office over David Cameron’s “morally indefensible” position on Palestine.

Mr Cameron said he regretted her resignation but kept his comments short and the party’s original positions unchanged in a response written from his Portuguese holiday home. 

Many of his closer advisers were reportedly less than happy with events.

Her departure was “disappointing and unnecessary,” said Chancellor George Osborne

In her letter of resignation, Ms Warsi said: “My view has been that our policy in relation to the Middle East peace process generally, but more recently our approach and language during the current crisis in Gaza, is morally indefensible, is not in Britain’s national interest and will have a long-term detrimental impact on our reputation internationally and domestically.”

Labour was quick to show its support for Ms Warsi.

“It is a sad reflection of the Prime Minister’s misjudgement of the crisis in Gaza that this capable minister has felt the need to leave the government,” said shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander. 

“Most reasonably minded people across Britain will agree with the sentiments expressed by Baroness Warsi in her resignation statement today.”

Meanwhile, the Mr Cameron could find himself cutting his holiday short as pressure continues to mount against his support for Israel.

The Commons international development committee announced yesterday that restrictions of movement imposed on Gazans were in breach of international law.

After visiting the territory, the committee said it was “shocked” by what it saw.

“We saw Israel taking a range of actions that hinder Palestinian economic development,” stated the committee’s report.

The document urged Mr Cameron to lobby Israel to restore water and electricity supplies to the Gaza Strip.

Even Conservative London Mayor Boris Johnson waded in, suggesting Britain’s official support of the Israeli government was inadvisable.

“I can’t for the life of me see how this can be a sensible strategy,” Mr Johnson said in a LBC radio interview.

“It is disproportionate. I think it is ugly and it is tragic and I don’t think it will do Israel any good in the long run.”

Ms Warsi was the first Muslim woman appointed to Cabinet.


We're a reader-owned co-operative, which means you can become part of the paper too by buying shares in the People’s Press Printing Society.

Become a supporter

Fighting fund

You've Raised:£ 5,527
We need:£ 12,473
20 Days remaining
Donate today