Labour’s Wayne David has questioned Boris Johnson’s criticism of the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) after the Prime Minister claimed it had mounted a “prejudicial attack” against Israel.
Addressing Middle East Minister James Cleverly in the House of Commons Mr David cited the ICC’s recent confirmation of an investigation into alleged war crimes by both Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups.
He added that the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office had stated that the UK respects the independence of the ICC but that last week the PM had described the investigation into Israel as giving “the impression of a prejudicial attack.”
“Does the minister believe the court is independent or not?,” asked Labour’s shadow Middle East Minister on Tuesday.
Mr Cleverly responded by saying: “We absolutely respect the independence of the ICC. We do expect it to comply with its own mandate … the UK will remain a strong supporter of the ICC.”
The Conservative minister also confirmed that the UK was “actively encouraging” Israel and the Palestinians following the resumption of dialogue.
He said:” We are now pushing for deeper cooperation on health and economic issues including the re-establishment of a joint economic committee to rebuild trust.”
Mr Cleverly also cited US President Biden’s attempts to “identify further areas of collaboration.”
He also told the Commons that a European Union review of inflammatory Palestinian textbooks in schools was “in its final stages.”
Mr Cleverly denied claims that UK taxpayers’ money was funding these books.
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