Bolton MP Yasmin Qureshi has resigned from Labour's frontbench to vote for a call for an "immediate ceasefire" in Gaza. 

Ms Qureshi, who has represented Bolton South East in parliament since 2010, said today she was stepping down from her role as shadow equalities minister to vote for an amendment to this year’s King’s Speech calling for an immediate ceasefire.

This is in defiance of her own party leader Keir Starmer, who has resisted demands to call for a ceasefire since the start of the conflict.

Ms Qureshi said: “Tonight, a motion will be put forward in Parliament to support an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

"I intend to vote for this motion.

"This does not align with the position of the Labour frontbench.

"Therefore, with regret, I have resigned as shadow equalities minister, and I will return to the backbenches.

The Bolton News: Thousands of people have demonstrated in support of Palestine in Bolton in recent weeksThousands of people have demonstrated in support of Palestine in Bolton in recent weeks (Image: Henry Lisowski)

"We must call for an end to the carnage to protect innocent lives and end human suffering.

"It is the only secure and reliable option to ensure humanitarian aid reaches those who desperately need it.

"More must be done to address the humanitarian catastrophe and advance moves towards a political solution for Israel and Palestine that brings freedom, prosperity, and security.

"I have voted with my conscience and on behalf of the thousands of constituents who have written to me in the last few weeks."

The amendment to the King’s Speech was put forward this week in parliament by the Scottish National Party and calls for “all parties to agree to an immediate ceasefire.”

But Labour MPs have been ordered to abstain rather than vote for the motion.

Labour front benchers who rebel to back rival amendments like these usually face the sack for defying their party leadership.

Ms Qureshi’s resignation comes several weeks after she launched a dramatic intervention in the House of Commons calling for an immediate ceasefire and an end to the “collective punishment” of the people of Palestine.

Recent weeks have seen a series of large-scale public protests in the town organised by the group Bolton4Palestine in support of the embattled people of Gaza in the face of Israeli bombardment that has killed thousands of people, most of them civilians.

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Five Bolton Councillors, including two cabinet members, have signed a letter drafted by the Muslim Labour Network urging the Labour Party to back a ceasefire, while on Saturday November 4 two Bolton grandmother, Bernadette Gallagher and Florence Hill, held a silent vigil for the children caught up in the conflict.

Towards the end of October Cllr Nick Peel, leader of Bolton Council’s ruling Labour group, joined with Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, Deputy Mayor Kate Green and the leaders of the other nine council across the city region in calling for a “ceasefire by all sides.”

But Keir Starmer and the Labour leadership have continued to resist calls for a ceasefire at national level, calling instead for shorter “humanitarian pauses.”