A TORY MP and former UK Government minister has said calls for a “sustainable ceasefire” in Gaza are “unhelpful” and that Israel should be allowed to “finish the job”.

Last week, the UK Government backed a sustainable ceasefire in Gaza during a meeting of the UN General Assembly.

Ambassador James Kariuki said the government supported calls for a ceasefire “where hostages are released, more aid can get in and Hamas stops firing rockets into Israel”.

Appearing before the Commons Liaison Committee, Rishi Sunak said the “sustainable ceasefire” called for by the UK would be one in which Hamas was no longer able to attack Israel.

He said: “A ceasefire is clearly not going to last if hostages are still being held. And also if Hamas, whose stated aim is to destroy Israel, is still able to operate in underground tunnels and launch rocket attacks into Israel.

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“So those are important facets that we need to grapple with.

“And ahead of a permanent ceasefire, what we’d like to see are immediate and sustained humanitarian pauses which allow release of more hostages and more aid to enter Gaza.”

However, Robert Jenrick – who resigned as Immigration Minister over the UK Government’s Rwanda bill not going far enough – said talk of a sustainable ceasefire was “succour to Israel’s enemies”.

During an urgent question in the Commons, Jenrick told MPs: “All of us abhor the loss of innocent civilian life in Israel and Gaza, but talk of a sustainable ceasefire is unhelpful.

“All it does is give succour to Israel’s enemies at the time of its greatest need – this is a country that fell to its knees just a few weeks ago and suffered the worst tragedy since the Holocaust, now they are trying to eliminate Hamas.

The National: Robert Jenrick resigned as Immigration Minister earlier this month Robert Jenrick resigned as Immigration Minister earlier this month

“They’re trying to free the hostages, some of whom are British citizens. Let them finish the job, let them protect Israeli security, and in doing so let Israel protect our security as well.”

Foreign Office minister Andrew Mitchell replied: “While it is true that weapons have been discovered in incubators in hospital in Gaza, nevertheless I do not agree with my right honourable friend, we are working towards a sustainable ceasefire.

“We are not there yet. We should all of us be working towards that and, in the meanwhile, on the pathway to a sustainable ceasefire we need urgently to get these humanitarian pauses so that humanitarian relief can enter Gaza.”

Benjamin Netanyahu’s administration is facing mounting international concern over the scale of civilian casualties.

Now, Tory MPs are piling pressure on Rishi Sunak to call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

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Former minister Edward Leigh said he believed the “mood is changing” on the Conservative benches as he criticised “indiscriminate bombing” by Israel.

The Tory MP for Gainsborough said: “All of us were deeply sympathetic to the plight of our Jewish brothers of the October pogrom and most have accepted the argument that an immediate ceasefire would have just played into the hands of Hamas, but I think on these benches the mood is changing.

“Frankly what Israel is doing is totally unacceptable, this is indiscriminate bombing of vast civilian populations.

“Leaving aside the outrage in the Holy Family Church, it is simply not in the interest of Israel long-term that they radicalise whole generations of Arab youth. It’s not in our interest either to be involved in any way on the side of Israel doing this, so we’ve got to ante-up the rhetoric and condemn this unequivocally.”