A ministerial aide has been sacked from his government role after calling for a ceasefire in Gaza, BBC reports
The British government has expressed its disapproval of comments made by Paul Bristow, citing that they “were not consistent with the principles of collective responsibility”.
In a letter to the prime minister last week, Bristow said “a permanent ceasefire” would save lives and allow aid to reach those who needed it most.
However, the British government supports “humanitarian pauses” but not a full ceasefire.
In a recent session of Prime Minister’s Questions, Rishi Sunak made a statement regarding the ongoing conflict in Gaza. Sunak mentioned the possibility of implementing “specific pauses” to facilitate the delivery of additional aid to the region.
However, he firmly dismissed appeals for supporting a ceasefire, emphasising Israel’s legitimate right to self-defense.
A Downing Street spokesman said, “Paul Bristow has been asked to leave his post in government following comments that were not consistent with the principles of collective responsibility.”
Collective responsibility refers to the established practise wherein all government members are expected to publicly endorse government policies, regardless of their personal reservations or disagreements.
Bristow, who is the Conservative MP for Peterborough, was a Parliamentary Private Secretary – the lowest rung of the ministerial ladder – to Michelle Donelan, the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology.
In his letter to the prime minister on Thursday, Mr Bristow, wrote, “My constituents and I are deeply grieved by the heart-breaking and devastating humanitarian crisis now unfolding in Gaza.
“Thousands have been killed and more than one million now displaced.
“It is difficult to understand how this makes Israel more secure or indeed makes anything better.”
He added that some of his constituents had been directly affected by the conflict.
More than 17% of people in Mr Bristow’s Peterborough constituency are Muslim, according to the latest census.
It is a marginal seat, which he won from Labour with a majority of 2,580 at the last general election.
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