Isabel Hardman Isabel Hardman

Baroness Warsi’s resignation letter: the key points

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[/audioplayer]Now that Baroness Warsi has revealed her letter to the Prime Minister in which she resigns over Gaza, here are the key criticisms that she levels at the government. They are notably not just about Operation Protective Edge and the British government’s response to it. She doesn’t resign until the penultimate paragraph, after a long letter that is clearly designed to cause maximum damage.

1. British policy in the Middle East generally is ‘morally indefensible’.

Warsi includes the current conflict in that, and warns that it could wreak long-term on Britain’s international reputation:

‘My view has been that our policy in relation to the Middle East Peace Process generally but more recently our approach and language during the current crisis in Gaza is morally indefensible, is not in Britain’s national interest and will have a long-term detrimental impact on our reputation internationally and domestically.’

She accuses the government of betraying its own values, saying ‘I believe our approach in relation to the current conflict is neither consistent with our values, specifically our commitment to the rule of law and our long history of support for international justice’.

2. The reshuffle damaged the government’s efficacy.

She points particularly to the sackings of two experienced – and moderate – colleagues, saying:

‘In many ways the absence of the experience and expertise of colleagues like Ken Clarke and Dominic Grieve has over the last few weeks become very apparent.’

It is one thing to thank colleagues for the experience they have brought to government, quite another to suggest that the government is now weak and making poor decisions because they are not there.

3. The Foreign Office – including other ministers – was uneasy about the decisions being taken.

‘There is however great unease across the Foreign Office, amongst both Ministers and senior officials, in the way recent decisions are being made’.

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