The leader of Bolton’s Conservative group has written to the Prime Minister calling for him to push for ceasefire to “stop the violence” in the Middle East.

Cllr Martyn Cox, who led Bolton Council from 2021 to 2023, addressed the letter to Rishi Sunak following several weeks of spiralling violence in the Middle East.

The conflict has reverberated throughout Bolton with a mass rally earlier this month and several councillors having made statements calling for a ceasefire.

Cllr Cox’s letter states: “We have all witnessed the dreadful scenes coming out of the Middle East over recent weeks and have been appalled at the loss of life in the region.

“I know that you have been working incredibly hard to secure peace in the region and Bolton Conservatives support you in your efforts.

“Bolton has a diverse community but we are all united in wanting the violence to stop and to see peace restored and talks to resume on a two state solution and to end this interminable conflict.

The Bolton News: Around 2,000 people attended a Bolton4Palestine rally earlier this monthAround 2,000 people attended a Bolton4Palestine rally earlier this month (Image: Henry Lisowski)

“We appreciate this is a difficult time for many people and the distressing images are bound to inflame passions but we urge you to redouble your efforts to stop the violence as soon as possible and to request a ceasefire to end the humanitarian catastrophe that is unfolding.”

Cllr Cox’s Conservative colleague Mark Logan, MP for Bolton North East, has also called for efforts to be made to find a peaceful solution and has questioned Mr Sunak about this in Parliament.

He said: “We cannot only talk about a two state solution. It must be realised.

“I asked the Prime Minister what we are doing to ensure that the international community doesn’t just talk a good game on a two-state solution, but rather works concertedly to deliver this outcome for the region, offering hope for lasting peace in the Middle East.

“Additionally, I welcome the further £20 million pounds of humanitarian aid for Gaza.”

Around 2,000 people are estimated to have joined the Bolton4Palestine rally at Victoria Square on October 15, while five Bolton Labour councillors have now signed a letter organised by the Labour Muslim Network calling on their party leader Keir Starmer to back a ceasefire.

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A peace vigil is expected to take place  in  Victoria Square in the near future for people of all faiths and none.