Corbyn demands Commons vote on Syria action

The Labour leader insisted the House of Commons “should always” be given a say on UK military intervention.

He also warned of a “hot war between Russia and America over the skies of Syria”.

Mr Corbyn spoke as the Prime Minister offered her strongest signal yet she could authorise UK force in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack in the Syrian city of Douma.

Corbyn demands Commons vote on Syria action
Corbyn demands Commons vote on Syria action

The US and France are also contemplating military action, although Russia – which backs Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and has troops in the county – has warned of a response if Syrian government facilities are struck by Western nations.

Theresa May stated “all the indications” are that the Syrian regime is to blame for the Douma attack, which reportedly killed 70 people and injured 500.

The United Nations health agency has cited reports from its partners that show signs of exposure to toxic chemicals among the Douma victims.

The Prime Minister said: “We will be working with our closest allies on how we can ensure that those who are responsible are held to account and how we can prevent and deter the humanitarian catastrophe that comes from the use of chemical weapons in the future.

“The continued use of chemical weapons cannot go unchallenged.”

Mrs May sidestepped a question on Wednesday over whether she would recall Parliament from its Easter recess to discuss the attack.

She also stated “there can be no role now for investigations by the United Nations” after Russia used its UN Security Council veto on Tuesday night to block efforts to create a new body to determine responsibility for the attack.

However, Mr Corbyn urged the Government to “listen to what the UN says” and wait for an “inquiry into the source and usage of the chemical weapons”.

He joined calls for the Prime Minister to have to win the approval of Parliament before ordering any UK military action in Syria, stating: “Parliament should always be given a say on military action.

“That’s a case that I’ve made going back many, many years in Parliament. Obviously the situation is very serious, obviously there has to be, now, a demand for a political process to end the war in Syria.”

The Labour leader also warned against a “bombardment which leads to escalation and leads to a hot war between Russia and America over the skies of Syria”.

Mr Corbyn stressed a need to resume peace talks over Syria and to “get every country including the US and Russia, as well as the neighbouring states, around the table in Geneva to bring about a political solution”.

Both the Liberal Democrats and the SNP are also calling for Parliament to be given a vote on fresh UK military action in Syria.

The Prime Minister is also being cautioned against rushing into action by her own Tory MPs.

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