Reporter Says Minister Fears Peace In Middle East Because It May 'Help Labour'

Sam Coates claimed a Tory minister told him he was worried about peace in the Middle East.
Sam Coates claimed a Tory minister told him he was worried about peace in the Middle East. Sky News

A minister reportedly told a Sky News reporter that they have concerns there will be peace in the Middle East in case that helps Labour.

Sky’s deputy politics editor, Sam Coates, revealed earlier this week that this was one of several “extraordinary claims” he has heard from Conservative sources amid worries about the party’s future.

He said: “You hear extraordinary claims from Tory MPs, including this one from a minister, who said to me that they are worried there might be peace in the Middle East.

“That might help Labour, because people are suffering in Gaza and that’s severing the relation between their traditional Muslim votes and the party.

“Extraordinary comments because we’re in extraordinary times.”

The Conservatives have been trailing their main opponents in the polls for some time now – the party hit a record low earlier this month when it dropped to 20%.

More than 60 Tory MPs have also confirmed they are stepping down at the next general election.

Meanwhile, the Israel-Hamas war appears to be the main sticking point for Labour, with just 60% of Muslim voters who supported the party in 2019 willing to do so again.

Pro-Palestine supporters have demanded the party to step up its criticism of Israel amid the extensive suffering in Gaza.

Labour leader Keir Starmer did call for a permanent ceasefire in February, but stopped short of using the word “immediate”.

Earlier this year, the party suspended two parliamentary candidates after they made disparaging comments about Israel, widely perceived as anti-Semitic.

That meant Labour had no candidate for the Rochdale by-election in February, leaving the door open for the Workers Party for Britain leader, George Galloway, to win.

A former Labour MP, he used his victory speech to criticise Starmer’s approach.

He said this by-election outcome was the leader’s “worst nightmare”, adding: “Keir Starmer, this is for Gaza.

“You have paid and you will pay for the role you have played in enabling, encouraging and covering for the catastrophe presently going on in occupied Palestine in the Gaza strip.”

A Labour spokesperson later said: “We deeply regret that the Labour party was unable to field a candidate in this by-election and apologise to the people of Rochdale. George Galloway only won because Labour did not stand.”

Hamas militants killed 1,200 people on Israeli soil on October 7 and took 240 others hostage.

Israel immediately declared war, put Gaza under siege and began an intense land offensive.

According to the Hamas-run health ministry in the Palestinian region, at least 31,000 people have been killed over the last five months.