Middle East minister Alistair Burt resigns from government over Brexit vote
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Middle East minister Alistair Burt resigns from government over Brexit vote

British Jewish group Yachad says the UK has lost a 'thoughtful and highly respected minister'

 Middle East Minister Alistair Burt speaking at Yachad's event
 Middle East Minister Alistair Burt speaking at Yachad's event

Alistair Burt MP resigned as Middle East minister on Monday to vote against the Government on a Brexit-related motion.

It marks the end of his second spell at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office with a Middle East brief, the first being under David Cameron.

The Conservative minister, who was also a minister for International Development, earned a reputation for being well-briefed while answering questions at the dispatch box and during Westminster Hall debates, and was well-respected across the House of Commons.

At an event for Jewish group Yachad last year, he told the audience that the British Government viewed as “unacceptable” Israel’s demolition of homes in Palestinian villages in the West Bank, but was equally unequivocal in condemning terror attacks by Palestinians against Israelis.

“The UK has lost a thoughtful and highly respected minister,” said Yachad director Hannah Weisfeld on Tuesday. “Minister Burt was a brilliant champion of peace and security for both Israelis and Palestinians and will be missed by all those who work to promote a political resolution to the conflict.”

Burt recently told the Commons that the UK would not follow the US in recognising the Golan Heights as Israeli sovereignty, and said a major Government review of British aid to the Palestinian Authority should be complete by September, following concerns about its use in payments to families of convicted terrorists.

He resigned on Monday night, together with two other ministers, in order to vote against the government whip over Brexit, backing an amendment to allow Parliament to seize control of the Commons agenda.

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