This week we saw Westminster politics at its worst.

Rows over parliamentary procedure never look good – but in this case, the anger of MPs was justified.

It has become clear that the Speaker of the House – who is supposed to be impartial – made a decision that favoured his former Labour Party colleagues, under extreme pressure from the Labour leader Keir Starmer, who was therefore spared a large rebellion over his position on Gaza. The Speaker does now need to reflect on his position.

But the worst thing of all was that Parliament missed the chance to send a united, unequivocal message to Israel for an immediate end to the killings and the brutal humanitarian crisis it has forced on the people of Gaza over the past four months.

Some commentators have said the SNP’s motivation for bringing the debate was not to advance the cause of peace in the region but solely to embarrass Labour.

Even if this were true, any embarrassment would be down to Labour itself – and specifically to the moral vacuum on this issue which has been created by Starmer at the top of the party.

Labour’s voting intentions apparently changed multiple times in the days leading up to the debate. That is a clear signal of a party led by political calculation, not by any sense of moral certainty.

We were told that Labour took issue with the reference to “collective punishment” in the SNP motion text. They said it was “provocative” to use such language, despite that being wording which their Scottish party conference agreed just last weekend

Tens of thousands of Palestinians have been killed, including more than 12,000 children. Most of the Gaza population has been displaced and their homes destroyed. Vital aid supplies are being blocked by Israel. Healthcare has collapsed; amputations are having to be carried out without anaesthetics.

If that is not punishing the Gaza population collectively I don’t know what is.

Language matters and it is a deep shame that our MPs have been unable to call out in simple terms Israel’s appalling disregard for human rights and international law in Gaza.

I hope that in the coming days, the House is able to debate a new proposition on Gaza, and – given that Israel is being investigated for genocide in the highest court in the world – there is a case for any new motion taking a much stronger position.

There is both a moral and legal duty on states – and indeed all levels of Government – to ensure they are not complicit in genocide. That’s a case Green councillors are making regarding Glasgow City Council’s investments and wider involvement with weapons producers supplying Israel.

The pressure should be on the Government not just to support an unequivocal ceasefire but also for an arms embargo, economic sanctions, and for the UK to support South Africa’s case at the International Court for Justice.

I hope that MPs will finally, belatedly come together to stand up for human rights, for peace and justice, and for international law. But with the rottenness at the heart of the Westminster system so obviously exposed, that sadly seems unlikely.