Jeremy Corbyn: Avoid Iraq errors and give MPs vote


The leader of Britain's largest opposition party is suggesting Theresa May, the prime minister, could face a backlash in parliament for her decision to join the U.S. and France in launching strikes against Syria.

Mr Corbyn also slammed ministers for launching strikes before giving MPs a say, saying Ms May "should have sought parliamentary approval, not trailed after Donald Trump".

But Mr Corbyn said: "More bombing, more killing, more war will not save life".

"Britain should be playing a leadership role to bring about a ceasefire in the conflict, not taking instructions from Washington and putting British military personnel in harm's way".

John Woodcock and Jeremy Corbyn.

He added: "The Government should do whatever possible to push Russian Federation and the United States to agree to an independent UN-led investigation of last weekend's horrific chemical weapons attack so that those responsible can be held to account".

The small Northern Irish political party that props up her government said May was justified in taking such action.

Sefton Central MP Bill Esterson said: "Why didn't the government tell us what the evidence was that bombing would make life better for Syrians or protect the United Kingdom and why didn't they discuss it in Parliament first?"

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President Trump spoke to the prime minister on Thursday evening, and the pair agreed that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had "established a pattern of risky behaviour in relation to the use of chemical weapons".

"The need to restart genuine negotiations for peace and an inclusive political settlement of the Syrian conflict, including the withdrawal of all foreign forces, could not be more urgent".

"The reason they are not doing it is they are frightened they will lose the vote".

It follows his initial reaction to the bombing, when he was joined by Vince Cable and Nicola Sturgeon in questioning the Prime Minister's decision to move forward without a parliamentary vote.

He said it was "deeply alarming" to see the return of chemical weapons to the battlefield in Syria and the airstrikes was the "right thing to do" in "settling the determination to ensure these weapons cannot be used".

She told reporters: "The action that took place last night was an action which was focused on degrading and deterring the operational capability and the willingness of the Syrian regime to continue to use chemical weapons".

It said they all agreed with her on "the importance of restoring the global norm that the use of chemical weapons is never acceptable". French President Emmanuel Macron said Thursday France has "proof" Assad had used chemical weapons and was working closely with the USA on a possible response.

May is certain to face MPs' anger on Monday when parliament returns from recess.