MPs call for Shimon Peres tribute
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MPs call for Shimon Peres tribute

Cross-party effort to secure Commons debate in memory of late Israeli leader

Justin Cohen is the News Editor at the Jewish News

Theresa May signing the book of condolences at the Israeli Embassy in London
Theresa May signing the book of condolences at the Israeli Embassy in London

Calls have been made for a tribute in the House of Commons to Shimon Peres.

Joan Ryan, chair of Labour Friends of Israel, has led cross-party calls for a parliamentary debate for MPs to pay tribute to the former Israeli premier and president.

The call to Speaker John Bercow has now been backed by Conservative Friends of Israel chair Sir Eric Pickles and Ian Paisley of the Democratic Unionist Party.

Ryan described him as a “towering figure, seeking peace and justice, a Nobel laureate, a statesman of courage and conviction”.

Oliver Dowden MP, whose Hertsmere constituency contains one of the largest Jewish communities in the UK, said: “Shimon Peres was a truly remarkable man and absolutely central to the history of Israel and the Middle East and the wider peace process. He was a genuine peace maker.

“I think it would be appropriate for parliament to mark in some way the passing of a truly great international statesman. His death touched many of my constituents and I’d like what he meant to my constituents, to me and many parliamentarians to be properly put on the record as it has been for other great statesmen.”

Parliament held a special session to pay tribute to Nelson Mandela, a fellow winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, following his death in 2013.

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