Sir Alan Duncan calls for Lord Polak, Lord Pickles and Tom Tugendhat to face repercussions over support of Israel

4 April 2024, 11:50 | Updated: 4 April 2024, 12:08

Sir Alan Duncan has called for Lord Polak and Lord Pickles to be "removed from the Lords".
Sir Alan Duncan has called for Lord Polak and Lord Pickles to be "removed from the Lords". Picture: LBC/Alamy/UK Parliament

By Emma Soteriou

Sir Alan Duncan has called for Lord Polak, Lord Pickles and Tom Tugendhat to face repercussions over their support of Israel.

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Speaking on LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast, Sir Alan also called for arms sales to Israel to be stopped "immediately".

"I think that anything in support of what is becoming a total catastrophe in Gaza is morally unacceptable and what we have to accept is it’s not just what they’re doing now is wrong – it’s what Israel has been doing for years has been wrong because the Israeli defence does not follow international law," he said.

"It has been backing and supporting illegal settlers in the West Bank who steal Palestinian land and it is that land theft, that annexation of Palestine, which is the origin of the problem, which has given rise to the Hamas atrocity and the battles we’re seeing."

It comes after the killing of seven aid workers, including three British nationals, in an Israeli drone strike on Monday night.

But Rishi Sunak has defended the sales, saying the UK has a "careful export licensing regime".

He said he has "been consistently clear" with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Israel must protect civilian lives.

Read more: UK risks breaching international law by continuing to arm Israel, Rishi Sunak warned

Read more: Israel admits ‘grave mistake’ after three British ex-forces heroes among seven killed in mistaken rocket on aid convoy

Sir Alan Duncan challenges support for Israel

Sir Alan went on to say: "There are a lot of people at the top of our own politics who refuse to condemn settlements and therefore are not supporters of national law.

"I think the time has come to flush out those extremists in our own parliamentary politics and around it...

"The Conservative friends of Israel has been doing the bidding of Netanyahu, bypassing all proper processes of government to exercise undue influence at the top of government.

"So what you have is a lot of people now sitting around Rishi Sunak who are giving him appalling advice. Let’s start with the head of CFI – or had been for many years – Lord Polak.

"In my view, I think he should be removed from the Lords because he is exercising the interests of another country, not that of the parliament in which he sits, joined by Lord Pickles. They’re the sort of Laurel and Hardy who should be pushed out together."

Nick Ferrari challenges Israeli Spokesperson Avi Hyman after Netanyahu apologised

Sir Alan also addressed Suella Braverman who he said "is still supporting Israel and the bombing and the annihilation of people in Gaza".

"She does not believe that settlements are wrong nor, I suspect, do Michael Gove and Oliver Dowden," he said.

"And Priti Patel, by the way, should be reinvestigated for her visit.

"We still don’t know who paid for her trip when she came back and tried to change government policy as a result of going on a secret trip without actually telling her officials or even the local ambassador.

"And if you pick up Wikipedia, and you read the entry for Tom Tugendhat, who is our security minister, it says and I’ll read it out: ‘He condemned the United Nations Security Council for its official criticism of Israel’s building settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.’

"That may have been some years ago but he’s never removed that, he’s never changed his view. How can you have a security minister in the British government who does not believe in international law when all this is going on?

"I think he should be sacked."

A Conservative Party statement said: "The Conservative Party has an established code of conduct and formal processes where complaints can be made in confidence. This process is rightly confidential.

"The Conservative Party does not tolerate any form of racism or discrimination."