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British Labor may pledge to recognize a Palestinian state


The Guardian newspaper quoted informed sources as saying that the opposition British Labor Party is expected to include in its election platform a pledge to recognize the Palestinian state at an appropriate time within peace talks.

The newspaper said that the platform, which outlines the party's policies before the vote on July 4, will also pledge to ensure that recognition of the Palestinian state is not opposed by a "neighboring country."

Labor leader Keir Starmer said last month that he wants to recognize a Palestinian state if he wins power, but such a step must come at an appropriate time within the peace process.

Foreign Secretary David Cameron, a Conservative, said in January that Britain might formally recognize a Palestinian state if the Palestinians showed “irreversible progress” toward implementing a two-state solution, according to reports at the time.

The Labor Party's pledge appears to be similar to Cameron's statement in essence, but its inclusion in the election platform may help appease some voters who have criticized the party's position on the war in Gaza.

The newspaper report stated that the program will be finalized in a meeting with trade unions today, Friday, and will be presented next Thursday.

Last month, Spain, Ireland and Norway officially recognized the Palestinian state in an effort to stimulate ceasefire efforts in the war that Israel is waging against Hamas in Gaza.

Slovenia also officially recognized the Palestinian state last Tuesday.

The Labour Party is a political party in the United Kingdom that has been described as an alliance of social democrats, democratic socialists and trade unionists.[20] The Labour Party sits on the centre-left of the political spectrum. In all general elections since 1922, Labour has been either the governing party or the Official Opposition.

There have been six Labour prime ministers and thirteen Labour ministries. Since the 2010 general election, it has been the second-largest UK political party by the number of votes cast, behind the Conservative Party and ahead of the Liberal Democrats. The party holds the annual Labour Party Conference.

The party was founded in 1900, having grown out of the trade union movement and socialist parties of the 19th century. It overtook the Liberal Party to become the main opposition to the Conservative Party in the early 1920s, forming two minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in the 1920s and early 1930s. Labour served in the wartime coalition of 1940–1945, after which Clement Attlee's Labour government established the National Health Service and expanded the welfare state from 1945 to 1951.

Under Harold Wilson and James Callaghan, Labour again governed from 1964 to 1970 and 1974 to 1979. In the 1990s, Tony Blair took Labour to the centre as part of his New Labour project which governed under Blair and then Gordon Brown from 1997 to 2010.

The Labour Party currently forms the Official Opposition in the Parliament of the United Kingdom, having won the second-largest number of seats in the 2019 general election. The leader of the party and Leader of the Opposition is Keir Starmer. Labour is the largest party in the Senedd (Welsh Parliament), being the only party in the current Welsh government. The party is the third-largest in the Scottish Parliament, behind the Scottish National Party and the Scottish Conservatives. Labour is a member of the Party of European Socialists and Progressive Alliance, and holds observer status in the Socialist International. 

The party includes semi-autonomous London, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish branches; however, it supports the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) in Northern Ireland, while still organising there. As of March 2024, Labour has around 366,604 registered members.

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