Only 18 Labour MPs vote against Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill 2019-21
3 MPs have resigned – it’s not clear yet whether they were told to do so by Keir Starmer or be sacked – in order to vote against a bill that would protect soldiers from prosecution if they commit torture overseas.
Nadia Whittome, Beth Winter and Olivia Blake have resigned from positions as Parliamentary Private Secretaries – the most junior front-bench role – in order to vote against the Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill 2019-21.
Starmer whipped his MPs to abstain on the bill, in a move reminiscent of the abstention on the Welfare Bill ordered by Harriet Harman that helped drive the massive vote for Jeremy Corbyn in the 2015 leadership contest.
Jeremy Corbyn tweeted today:
I have grave concerns that, as it stands, the #OverseasOperationBill the House of Commons is discussing today defies and undermines international law.
Corbyn also tabled an amendment that the bill:
violates essential rule of law principles such as judicial and prosecutorial independence and the absolute and effective prohibition of torture
15 backbench Labour MPs, most on the left of the party, also voted against the bill, which if passed will represent the Tories yet again awarding themselves the right to breach international law, as the Geneva Convention bans torture and other acts that the bill would make non-prosecutable.
Another cowardly and shameful episode in the history of ‘centrist’ Labour.
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