A LABOUR frontbencher dismissed calls from Anas Sarwar and Sadiq Khan for a ceasefire in Gaza as they’re “not part of the shadow cabinet”.

The Scottish Labour leader and London mayor both added to pressure on UK Labour leader Keir Starmer to call for an end to the violence between Israel and Hamas last week.

Manchester mayor Andy Burnham also made the call as Starmer came under criticism for his stance on the war in the Middle East, stopping short of calling for a ceasefire and instead supporting “humanitarian pauses” to allow aid into Gaza.

However, when asked if senior members of the Labour Party calling for a ceasefire made it more “tricky” for Starmer, shadow chief secretary to the Treasury Darren Jones dismissed their interventions.

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On Sky News, the Labour MP for Bristol North West said: “I'm assuming when you say senior members of the party Kaye, you're referring to colleagues who are not part of the Westminster part of the Labour Party.

“That you're referring to, kind of mayors and other …”

Presenter Kay Burley interrupted to point out they are still regarded as senior members, particularly Khan who “runs one of the biggest cities in the world”.

“Oh yeah, absolutely, they have their own electoral mandate,” Jones replied.

“They're an important part of the Labour Party, they're entitled to make their opinions known both privately and publicly, that's the role that they have, but they're not part of the shadow cabinet.

“And it's the shadow cabinet that decides what Labour Party policy is in Westminster and that's what's happened.”

Burley replied: “So it doesn't matter what they think then?”

“No, it matters what they think,” Jones added.

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“They're entitled to make their representations to Keir Starmer and colleagues in the shadow cabinet, and they do, alongside every other colleague, whether they're councillors, members of parliament, or mayors of cities or regions.”

Responding to a clip of the exchange online, Scottish Education Secretary Jenny Gilruth wrote: “The arrogance is palpable.”

Earlier in the interview, Jones was asked if the Labour Party are starting to split when it comes to the situation in Gaza. “I don’t think split is the right word,” he said.

“I think what we're seeing is that members of parliament are making their case for the opinions that they hold, whether because they have personal views or because they're representing particular views on behalf of their constituents.

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“That's a perfectly normal part of the job, it’s right and proper for them to do so.”

He added that the party’s policy is “clear” and that Israel has the “right to defend itself against daily attacks from Hamas”.

Jones said: “Israel has the right to recover citizens being held hostage by terrorists underground in Gaza, that it must do that within international rules.

“And the sad consequence of Hamas’s actions is that there are innocent civilians as we've seen in the news in Gaza caught in the middle of this and aid is not being made available and not accessible enough to them.

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“And there is a humanitarian emergency unfolding, which is why we've called for a humanitarian pause so the aid can be made available to those innocent civilians.”

On Friday, in a video post on social media, the Scottish Labour leader said that a ceasefire should be a priority, in direct opposition to his boss.

 “We are all so desperate for peace and are desperate to see the end of violence,” Sarwar (below) said. 

“And that is why we need to see the immediate release of hostages, immediate access to humanitarian supplies, food, medicine, electricity, water, into Gaza, the immediate cessation of violence, with an end of rocket fire into and out of Gaza.

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"And let me be clear, that means a ceasefire right now.”

It comes after Starmer faced an enormous amount of criticism for his stance from within his own party, with 15 Scottish officials quitting the party in protest and a number of Labour MPs, including frontbenchers, signing a motion calling on the UK Government to support a ceasefire.

And 150 Muslim Labour councillors wrote to Starmer and his deputy Angela Rayner last week urging them to back an “immediate ceasefire”.