Scottish Labour’s deputy leader has called for a ceasefire in Gaza ahead of Israel’s looming invasion of Rafah.

In an exclusive interview with The Herald, Jackie Baillie insisted that Anas Sarwar and Sir Keir Starmer were on the same page regarding the situation in the Palestinian enclave.

It comes as the SNP have said they will use their next allocated opposition day debate to table another ceasefire motion.

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When they forced a similar vote in the Commons in November, it caused splits in the Parliamentary Labour Party, with 56 MPs defying Sir Keir, including 10 shadow ministers and aides.

Sir Keir has long called for a “sustainable” ceasefire, while Mr Sarwar has said it should be immediate.

Thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters are due to march on Scottish Labour’s conference in Glasgow this weekend.

Dame Jackie told The Herald that many of the delegates inside the SECC would likely share the views of those outside.

“The loss of innocent civilians has touched everybody wherever they are. And I think what we've been very clear about, certainly Anas Sarwar and Keir have been clear about, is that we are calling for a ceasefire.

“There needs to be a negotiated settlement. There needs to be a two-state solution and I think what's going on at the moment in Rafah, frankly, is terrible.

“I mean, it's terrifying as well.

“And whoever has any influence over Israel, and indeed over Hamas, needs to get them around the table to sort this out.

“We cannot have continued destruction of innocent people or indeed the communities in which they live.

“And I'm appalled to think that you've got almost a million if not more people crammed into a tiny bit of Gaza, which is Rafah and they are just there like sitting ducks.

“We need that ceasefire. And every international effort must go into making that happen.”

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The SNP vote is likely to take place a day before the by-election in Rochdale where Labour has pulled support for its candidate, Azhar Ali, after he claimed at meeting that Israel’s government allowed the October 7 massacre by Hamas to happen to get the “green light” for an invasion of Gaza.

Another Westminster hopeful at that meeting, Graham Jones, is also being investigated by the party for demanding that any British person fighting for Israel be “locked up”.

SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn has accused both Sir Keir and Rishi Sunak of “equivocating” over the crisis.

He said: “Over 28,000 Palestinian children and civilians have already been killed – and vast swathes of Gaza have been obliterated, including hospitals and family homes.

“The UK parliament cannot just sit on its hands and do nothing. International pressure is paramount if an immediate ceasefire is to happen – and the UK has a moral duty to do its part.”