MP steps in for Palestine motion

Batley and Spen MP Mike Wood sacrificed his vote in Parliament to make sure a motion on recognising Palestine went ahead.

Thursday, 16th October 2014, 5:35 pm
NO VOTE Mike Wood stepped as teller for a view he did not agree with,

MPs voted in favour, 271-12, of a symbolic motion to recognise Palestine as a state.

But a spokeman for Mr Wood said the Conservative party did not nominate the two tellers that were required to count the No votes, which led to Mr Wood stepping in to the role with fellow Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn.

Mr Wood spoke in favour of the motion but could not vote because of his role as a teller.

Following the vote Mr Corbyn said: “If I may, I will briefly explain why I and my honourable friend the member for Batley and Spen, Mike Wood, were tellers for a position that we do not actually hold. It was to ensure that democracy could take place and that members could record their vote, because those who were opposed to the motion declined to put up tellers.

“Conservative members, most of whom refused to back the motion, and others opposed to Palestine being recognised attempted to use a Parliamentary trick to stop the vote going ahead.”

Mr Wood told the House of Commons: “There is no place in Israel and Palestine for the Palestinians. We have to face squarely what that means and so do the Israelis. That is even more reason why we should not give the Israelis a veto over Palestinian statehood. “We will be voting tonight for the recognition of a Palestinian state. That is not just about recognising the inalienable right of Palestinians to freedom and self-determination but about Israel’s need to be saved from itself.”