It really is not good enough for Labour to call for the legal advice on Israel’s war on Gaza to be published, and not commit to publication of all such legal advice in future .

I remember referring to the government’s then legal advice during a debate on Afghanistan, and receiving a letter afterwards saying that I should not have done so. Most people will remember how contentious the question of the legality of the proposed war on Iraq was in 2003. Even the cabinet didn’t see this legal advice. When it was extracted much later, we saw how a side agreement had been put in place to enable the attorney-general to change his mind and say war would be legal.

There is no good reason why legal advice on international law should not be published. As there is no remedy before the courts, this is the only way that people and parliament can hold the executive to account. If this cannot be agreed then I strongly take the view that parliament should employ its own legal advisers.

We are in a very strange position when the International Court of Justice says there is a plausible case for a finding of genocide against Israel for the way it is prosecuting the war on Gaza, and the British people are not allowed to know what the Foreign Office’s own legal advisers are saying.

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