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Monday, 02 August 2021

Candidates face message storm as Palestine becomes hot topic in UK elections

Electoral candidates all over the UK are being asked their views on Palestinian rights in a campaign to ensure Palestine remains high on the agenda of the next parliament

Marwan Sultan in London , Wednesday 25 Feb 2015

British supporters of Palestine have managed to impose the Palestinian issue on the agenda of the British general election campaign, pro-Palestine campaigners have said.

Elections will be held 7 May amid high expectations it will be a close race between the Tories, which lead the current coalition government, and the Labour Party, which leads the opposition.

“Just a beginning”

“Over 19,000 messages have been sent to parliamentary candidates asking their views on the Palestinian rights,” the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) announced.

It added that voters have emailed candidates in 623 out of 650 constituencies in the election, in what has been described “encouraging results but just the beginning.”

Under “Vote for Palestine," PSC has launched a popular campaign to encourage voters all over the country to write to candidates in their constituencies.

“The more emails sitting MPs and candidates receive the more pressure they will feel to demonstrate long overdue commitment on this issue (Palestine),” a PSC spokeswoman told Ahram Online.

The aim is to “make sure voters can make an informed choice about how to vote in order to support Palestine.”

“Moment of challenge”

In October 2014, members of the House of Commons supported in a historic vote recognising Palestine as a state alongside Israel.

MPs said the step would be "a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution."

Less than half of MPs took part in the vote, with the result registering 274 to 12 in favour.

Following Israel's war on Gaza last summer, the number of politicians and MPs speaking out against Israel's ongoing human rights outrages in Palestine is increasing.

However, the PSC warns that the majority of MPs have "failed to promote Palestinian human rights in the British parliament or government.”

The PSC was established to work for peace and justice for Palestinians, in support of their human rights, and to fight against all forms of racism and oppression they face.

"The election is our moment to challenge politicians to support Palestine," the PSC said, calling on voters to quiz candidates to find out who would support Palestinian human rights if elected.

“Chase the candidates”

“This general election, we have an amazing opportunity to capitalise on the sea-change in political and public opinion,” the PSC spokeswoman said.

Calling for a "big push for Palestine" in the election season, the PSC said there is much to do over the coming weeks, to push Palestine up the political agenda and ensure it is an international issue that the next parliament delivers on.

The PSC intends to publish candidates' responses to questions on Palestine.

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