Foreign Office minister Sayeeda Warsi resigns over Gaza

From The Guardian:

Lady Warsi, the senior Foreign Office minister, has resigned from the government in protest at its policy on Gaza, in a decision that Downing Street says it is checking.

Warsi said on her Twitter account on Tuesday: “With deep regret I have this morning written to the prime minister and tendered my resignation. I can no longer support government policy on Gaza”.

She has been known to be unhappy at the failure of the prime minister to unequivocally condemn Israel’s incursion into Gaza or the death toll.

On Monday, the prime minister’s spokesman refused to say if Israel was behaving disproportionately or doing enough to prevent civilian casualties.

Warsi became the first Muslim to sit in the Cabinet when she was made Conservative party co-chair by David Cameron after the 2010 general election. She was subsequently moved to the post of minister of state at the Foreign Office and minister for faith and communities in Cameron’s 2012 re-shuffle – a move widely regarded as a demotion.

The London mayor, Boris Johnson, responded to Warsi’s resignation by saying it was “very sad” when any government minister stood down.

“I think she will be back as soon as possible. My view as mayor of London is that it is not the function of the mayor to get deeply embroiled in this,” , he said on LBC radio’s Ask Boris phone-in.

He then added that events in Gaza were “utterly horrifying and unacceptable”, but “there is no point in politicians getting in a bidding war about issuing the most frenzied denunciation of what is going on”.

Referring to the Israeli bombing: “I cannot for the life of me see why this is a sensible strategy. It is not my function to arbitrate or adjudicate in this matter – I am a passionate supporter of Israel. I cannot for the life of me see the purpose of this. It is disproportionate, ugly and tragic and will not do Israel any good the long run.”

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