UK's Labour pledges to recognise Palestinian state as part of peace process

Britain's Starmer expected to launch Labour party manifesto

MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - Britain's opposition Labour Party, which is far ahead in polls before a July 4 election, pledged on Thursday to recognise a Palestinian state as a contribution to a renewed peace process.

"Palestinian statehood is the inalienable right of the Palestinian people," said Labour's election manifesto - the collection of policies it would enact if it forms the next government.

"We are committed to recognising a Palestinian state as a contribution to a renewed peace process which results in a two-state solution with a safe and secure Israel alongside a viable and sovereign Palestinian state."

The current Conservative-led government has previously said Britain could formally recognise a Palestinian state before the end of a peace process, and that Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip must be given "the political perspective of a credible route to a Palestinian state and a new future".

In May, Spain, Ireland and Norway officially recognised a Palestinian state, prompting an angry reaction from Israel, which has found itself increasingly isolated after more than seven months of conflict in Gaza.

(Reporting by Elizabeth Piper and Alistair Smout, writing by William James and Sarah Young; editing by Michael Holden)