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article imageBaroness Warsi resigns over UK's morally indefensible Gaza policy

By Mathew Wace Peck     Aug 5, 2014 in Politics
The Foreign Office minister Baroness Warsi has resigned from David Cameron's government, calling the UK government's policy on the conflict in Gaza "morally indefensible."
The minister sent her resignation to Prime Minister David Cameron this morning and later made her decision public through her official Twitter feed.
Warsi tweeted, "With deep regret I have this morning written to the Prime Minister & tendered my resignation. I can no longer support Govt policy on #Gaza."
She followed this up with a second tweet, which included a photograph of her resignation letter.
Prior to becoming a Foreign Office minister, Sayeeda Warsi was Chairman of the Conservative Party. She holds the distinction of being the first-ever female Muslim to hold ministerial office in Britain.
According to BBC News, several backbench Conservative MPs have already called on Cameron to take a "more robust line with Israel amid concerns its actions in Gaza are 'disproportionate.'"
In Warsi's resignation letter, the baroness writes that her government's stance on the conflict in Gaza is "morally indefensible, is not in Britain's national interest and will have a long-term effect on our reputation internationally and domestically."
Here is the letter in full:
Dear Prime Minister
For some weeks, in meeting and discussion, I have been open and honest about my views on the conflict in Gaza and our response to it.
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.
Particularly as the Minister with responsibility for the United Nations, The International Criminal Court and Human Rights I believe our approach in relation to the current conflict is neither consistent with our values, specifically our commitment to the rule of law and our long history of support for International Justice. In many ways the absence of the experience and expertise of colleagues like Ken Clarke and Dominic Grieve has over the last few weeks become very apparent.
This decision has not been easy. It has been a privilege to serve for 3 years in your Shadow Cabinet and over 4 years in your Cabinet. Introducing you in Blackpool in 2005 as you made your bid for leadership I had the pleasure of being there at the start of the journey and it would have been rewarding to have been there til the end.
The last decade has given me the opportunity to work with some of the best in the Conservative Party and indeed in Government. William Hague was probably one of the finest Foreign Secretaries this country has seen and has been inspirational. He dismantled foreign policy making by sofa government and restored decision making and dignity to the Foreign Office. There is however great unease across the Foreign Office, amongst both Minister and senior officials, in the way recent decisions are being made.
Eric Pickles has supported me tirelessly in our work on combating hate crime. Challenging anti-Semitism and Islamaphobia and the pioneering work of celebration faith in the public sphere. This new found confidence in Government has allowed me to take the very public International lead on religious freedom, specifically on the ever growing crisis of the persecution of Christians. However, early evidence from the Home Office and others shows that the fallout of the current conflict and the potential for the crisis in Gaza and our response to it becoming a basis for radicalisation could have consequences for us for years to come.
From both Eric and William I learnt the art of reconciling passion and idealism with pragmatism and realism, but I always said that long after life in politics I must be able to live with myself for the decisions I took or the decisions I supported. By staying in Government at this time I do not feel I can be sure of that.
It is therefore with regret that I am writing to resign.
You will continue to have my personal support as leader of the Conservative party as you continue to ensure that our Party evolves to meet the challenges we face in Britain today and ensure that the Party is relevant and responsive to all communities that make up today's Britain.
Yours sincerely
Sayeeda
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