Gay MP resigns as PPS to vote against Palestinian statehood
Gay Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) Mike Freer resigned last night, in order to vote against a motion to recognise Palestine as a state.
Parliamentary Private Secretaries were unable to vote, as it was a backbench bill, and Mr Freer, the MP for Finchley and Golders Green told PinkNews he would rather resign and vote against it, than remain in his post and abstain.
In a public announcement, Mr Freer said: “I have resigned as a Government PPS to allow me to vote against motion on Palestinian Statehood. Supporting the two state solution & the peace process whilst not rewarding Hamas a significant issue for my constituents.”
Speaking to PinkNews today, he added: “I chose not to speak at the debate . How any MP can vote to encourage Hamas and at the same time say they support women or LGBT rights beggars belief.”
Justin Cohen, news editor at Jewish News publicly commended Mr Freer for the decision to resign, saying: “Principled, selfless stance from Mike Freer tonight by resigning as a private parliamentary secretary to vote against, rather than abstain, on Palestine motion.”
Mr Freer was one of 12 MPs to vote against the measure, which passed with 274 votes. As it is a backbench motion, it has no practical impact on government policy.
Labour had a three-line whip, for the measure, and Conservative and Lib Dem backbenchers were given a free vote.