The Public and Commercial Services union has publicly condemned the deportation from Israel of its former deputy general secretary Hugh Lanning.

Mr Lanning, who now chairs the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), became the first victim of a new law banning those who advocate a boycott or sanctions campaign from entering the country. PSC claim that the new law violates basic ‘freedoms essential to democracy’. 

As well as other trade unionists and campaigners, the law is likely to affect politicians of all parties and extends to those who call for a boycott of occupied areas, including West Bank settlements, regarded as illegal under international law.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “The UK government must join us in condemning this undemocratic move by Israel. Not only is it a violation of the right to peaceful protest and free speech, it is counter-productive because it will not silence those who speak out in support of human rights.”

Serwotka’s comments add to the mounting pressure on the UK government to condemn Israel’s move and oppose the new law.