I have received this reply to a message I sent to Barry Gardiner MP (Labour Brent North) asking him to vote for the recognition of Palestine on October 13th and a follow-up email asking why he wasn't present for the vote:
Thank you for contacting me about the debate regarding the recognition of Palestinian statehood that took place in the House of Commons on the 13th of October.You will, I am sure, be aware that the House of Commons voted in support of the motion with a significant majority of 276-12. Labour voted for the motion because it reflects our support for the principle of recognition of Palestinian statehood.Unfortunately, I sustained an injury on the Sunday evening and had to go to the hospital, so I was not actually present for the vote. Had I been able to attend, I would have voted to recognise Palestine along with my colleagues in the Labour Party. I believe the events of recent months have made it clear that such progressive steps are essential to avoid further violence and bloodshed.I also believe that recognition of Palestine at the United Nations would be a further tangible step along this route. That is why I have supported the Labour Party’s consistent calls upon the Government to commit Britain to supporting the Palestinians' bid for recognition at the UN, in 2011 and in 2012, in order to restart peace negotiations.