UK Parliament Votes To Recognise Palestine

Late last night, I joined MPs from all sides of the House of Commons to vote for the UK Government to immediately recognise Palestine as a sovereign state.

I'm very pleased to say that MPs chose to recognise the state of Palestine by 274 votes for recognition to only 12 votes against recognition.

I'm particularly pleased to say that almost all Lib Dems that aren't Ministers voted for Palestinian recognition.

I voted to recognise the State of Palestine.

I did this because it is the intrinsic right of the Palestinian people to be recognised as a legitimate state outside of the ongoing peace process with Israel. Some have said that a Palestinian State can only happen as part of a negotiated peace ending in a two state solution with Israel.

To this, I say that the UK unilaterally recognised Israel in 1950 outside of any negotiations with the Palestinian people and that it is absurd to have the recognition of a sovereign people conditional on negotiations where one state will always have power over the other. A successful two state solution needs two states to be in existence.

David Ward and recognition of Palestine

I want this crucial support from the House of Commons to give hope to the Palestinian people, to provide a message that there are people in the world that care about them and that violence is not the way to find a lasting peace. For many Palestinians, the utter despair of their situation has forced them into the arms of men of violence like Hamas as a way to fight against oppression. We need to show these people that violence will only embolden Israeli aggression and the only way to find peace is through successful peaceful negotiations.

Statehood for the Palestinian people will provide hope and demonstrate that there can be success in following a peaceful course of action.

Many people from all backgrounds and from all faiths are supporting us and whilst yesterday's vote is non-binding, it will put enormous pressure on the UK Government to follow our example and recognise the State of Palestine.

The tide is turning, the world has woken up and seen Israel's recent atrocities in Gaza, it has categorically shown the world the horrors that many Palestinians live in and that finding a lasting and non-violent two state solution is an absolute priority.

In two weeks' time, I hope to go on a fact finding mission to Gaza and I will be very proud to tell Palestinians I meet that the British Parliament supports them and the State of Palestine. I will be publishing a diary of my Gaza visit, who I meet and what I see and you will be able to follow this by visiting my website at

Also if you have not already signed it, please sign and share my petition on Twitter or Facebook calling for the UK Government to stand up for the Palestinian people

david-ward-and-recognition-of-palestineMany thanks again for joining me and showing your continued support to the Palestinian people.

With the best of wishes.
David Ward

Member of Parliament for Bradford East