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British Muslim minister Baroness Sayeeda Warsi quits over Gaza policy

Published on Aug 6, 2014 1:20 AM
Britain's former senior minister of state at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and minister for faith and communities, Baroness Warsi, is driven away from her home in central London on August 5, 2014, after she resigned over the government's position on the conflict in Gaza. Baroness Warsi, who was the first Muslim to sit in the Cabinet, resigned on August 5 over the government's "morally indefensible" policy on Gaza. -- PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (AFP) - A Foreign Office minister who was the first Muslim to sit in the British Cabinet dramatically resigned on Tuesday over what she called the government’s “morally indefensible” policy on Gaza.

The surprise decision by Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, who also had responsibility for faith and communities, heaped pressure on Prime Minister David Cameron to take a tougher line against Israel over its actions in Gaza.

The coalition government has faced sustained criticism in recent days, led by the main opposition Labour party, that it has not spoken out strongly enough over the conflict.

“Our approach... 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,” Baroness Warsi wrote to Mr Cameron in her resignation letter.

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