UK muslim minister quits over Gaza policy

London - A British minister who was the first Muslim to sit in the cabinet resigned on Tuesday over the government's policy on Gaza.

Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, a minister at the Foreign Office and minister for faith and communities, wrote on Twitter: "With deep regret I have this morning written to the Prime Minister & tendered my resignation. I can no longer support Govt policy on #Gaza".

Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron's coalition government has drawn criticism, including from the main opposition Labour party, for not taking a tougher line against Israel over its operations in Gaza.

On Monday, Cameron said the United Nations was "right" to condemn an air strike near a school in Rafah on Sunday which killed 10 people but would not say whether he thought it was a "criminal" act.

Warsi's parents were Pakistani immigrants and she was made a member of parliament's upper House of Lords in 2007.

She was appointed to Cameron's cabinet when his coalition government took power in 2010 and while she initially had a high media profile, her star had dimmed in recent years.

She was shuffled out of the full cabinet, the powerful inner circle of government ministers, in 2012.

Labour leader Ed Miliband last week accused Cameron of "inexplicable" silence over the suffering of Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

"The government needs to send a much clearer message to Israel that its actions in Gaza are unacceptable and unjustifiable," Miliband said.

"What I want to hear from David Cameron is that he believes that Israel's actions in Gaza are wrong and unjustified, and we haven't heard that from him."

Warsi's resignation drew immediate praise on Twitter from some Labour MPs.

"Very courageous of my brave friend @SayeedaWarsi to resign over this Government's inexplicable silence and total weakness on the #Gaza crisis," wrote Sadiq Khan, Labour's lead spokesperson on justice.

London Mayor Boris Johnson, seen as a possible future successor to Cameron, said following Warsi's resignation that events in Gaza were "utterly horrifying and unacceptable".

"I cannot for the life of me see why this is a sensible strategy," the Conservative said on his show on London radio station LBC.

"I cannot for the life of me see the purpose of this. It is disproportionate, ugly and tragic and will not do Israel any good the long run."

Read more on: david cameron gaza
David Van Schalkwyk 2014-08-05 01:38:33 PM
Why did he not resign after a soldier was murdered in the street by Muslim extremists...
Askari Kazmi 2014-08-05 01:43:02 PM
An emotional and unwise step...not useful for any one.The war is a two way war Hamas fire rocket without caring causalities on the surface and Israel fire back committing causalities.
Paul Andrews 2014-08-05 01:57:41 PM
Hamas will NEVER be a "peaceful" organisation and there will never be an end to the continued Arab war against Israel. All she did was create a job for someone else to fill. Well done, lady...
Leon de Swardt 2014-08-05 02:00:38 PM
"Cry me a river", and if you won't, I will do it myself...
Peter Redelinghuys 2014-08-05 02:41:33 PM
They are going to replace him with a British israeli according to sky.
Will Homeby 2014-08-05 02:46:38 PM
David, much easier for Christians to invade a country based on a lie and kill a million Muslims in the process. Thereafter claim that that God asked them to intervene
Gilliard Raffels 2014-08-05 03:10:04 PM
There is never a clear cut right and wrong. Everybody's judgement is clouded by their loyalty to their faith, or country or whatever else. As far as I am concerned, war is idiotic regardless of the cause. It is impossible to wage war without killing innocent people, so why wage war in the first place? BOTH sides are wrong.
jf.lambert2 2014-08-05 03:31:29 PM
good riddance!
David Whitehouse 2014-08-05 04:58:53 PM
Interesting she never took the moral high ground with Syria... Selective morals again from this lady. Her political career is riddled with it.