SCOTTISH Labour leader Anas Sarwar has insisted he still backs an immediate ceasefire amid reports he could soften Scottish Labour's stance on the issue ahead of a debate in the Scottish Parliament this week.

A leaked policy note suggested the party is seeking to U-turn by lodging an amendment to the Scottish Greens motion calling for a ceasefire, therefore avoiding any clear confrontation with UK leader Keir Starmer, according to The Scotsman.

The note demands an end to rocket fire, the release of hostages, humanitarian aid supplies allowance, and a two-state solution peace process.

It adds: “In order for any ceasefire to work it requires both sides to be willing to comply. Sadly Benjamin Netanyahu has made clear he will not support a ceasefire and Hamas too have said they intend to continue rocket fire and would commit to repeat the October 7 attacks again and again.

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“We have to use every form of diplomacy within the international partners to try and create the conditions on the ground to make it a reality.”

It continues: “The reality is that neither the long-term security of Israel nor long-term justice for Palestine can be delivered by bombs and bullets but through a political settlement.”

If this was the case, Sarwar, who has previously said there should be a ceasefire in the region “right now", could face a similar rebellion within Holyrood as Starmer saw in Westminster.

Starmer saw 10 MPs quit his frontbench over the party's refusal to back a ceasefire, with 56 MPs rebelling to back the SNP motion, which failed to pass.

However, speaking to the BBC’s Sunday Show, he insisted his party would be “supporting the position that I've set out now for over three weeks.”

Sarwar said: “I think four things need to happen immediately. We need the immediate end of rocket fire going out of and into Gaza. That means a ceasefire right now.

“We need the immediate release of hostages.

“We need immediate access to humanitarian aid, that's food, water, electricity fuel going into the Gaza Strip. I believe withholding that is a clear breach of international law.

“And we need a pathway to a peace process because right now we have no peace, and we have no process.”

A Scottish Labour source told the Scotsman that Sarwar whipping MSPs to vote against an immediate ceasefire in Gaza would be a “moral and political outrage”.

The National: Sarwar

They said: “The SNP and Greens' position, that there should be an immediate ceasefire, was also Anas’s position three weeks ago.

“His new position, which just so happens to coincide with Keir Starmer's, only makes sense if things had improved in Gaza over those three weeks, but they've got much, much worse.

“He’s going to either have to instruct Labour MSPs to vote against an immediate ceasefire, which would be a moral and political outrage, or perform his second U-turn in the space of a week.”

Ross Greer, the Scottish Green MSP who lodged the original motion, called on Sarwar to “resist pressure”.

Greer said: “Earlier this week many of us commended the conviction of the rebel Labour MPs who stood against Keir Starmer and voted for a ceasefire.

“Anas Sarwar must now find that same conviction and resist pressure from party bosses in London to betray or water down a position we all know he holds. He knows the killing must stop.

“The people of Gaza don't have time for Labour’s cynical games. They’re dying now. They're running out of food and water now. They urgently need a lasting ceasefire and humanitarian aid corridors now. International pressure is critical to forcing that end to this slaughter.”