I WANT to begin by once again calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. I’ve been clear in my condemnation for the attacks by Hamas on 7 October, but the retaliation from Israel is not justifiable.

More than 10,300 people have been killed in Gaza since the Hamas attacks just over a month ago, with reports that more than 4,100 of them were children. That is utterly heart-breaking.

We cannot see innocent civilians targeted for the actions of terrorists. Peace is not an easy process – but Israel cannot be allowed to break international law. The world must work together if we’re to see peace and justice in the region.

It's not just Israel that are being challenged by the UN though – as a UN envoy has warned the UK government is violating international law over the unacceptably high levels of poverty in the UK.

UN Special rapporteur Olivier De Schutter said UK poverty levels are “simply not acceptable” and described the UK government welfare system as “a leaking bucket”. He said Universal Credit payments are “grossly insufficient" for the cost of living and urged UK government ministers to increase payments.

The UN envoy is right to criticise the UK government's shameful record on poverty – and the SNP have challenged Rishi Sunak to take urgent action including by matching the Scottish Child Payment UK-wide.

Ultimately, this damning indictment shows why Scotland needs the full powers of independence to eradicate poverty.

While the SNP in government has taken thousands of people out of poverty, with progressive policies like the Scottish Child Payment, the Tories have pushed people back into destitution by cutting benefits and failing to help families with the soaring cost of living in the UK.