Theresa May defends Syria strikes in Commons showdown

Theresa May defends Syria strikes in Commons showdown

Theresa May defends Syria strikes in Commons showdown

Prime Minister Theresa May will face a second debate in as many days on Britain's role in bombing Syria on Tuesday after she stayed late the night before listening to lawmakers' views in the House of Commons.

The Prime Minister dismissed claims from Labour MPs that she was acting on the "whims" of US President Donald Trump in launching the attacks, branding the suggestions as "insulting".

Their comments come as MPs discuss the Government's decision to attack Syria at an emergency debate in Parliament this afternoon.

May, who has regained confidence after winning support for her tough stance on Syria and Russian Federation, said she was driven by the need to decide quickly on joining the United States and France in Saturday's strikes, made in retaliation for a suspected gas attack.

May said there wasn't time to consult lawmakers before Britain joined US and French airstrikes on Syrian military targets on Saturday and dismissed opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn's accusation that she was acting on "the whims of the USA president" as an insult to her government.

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Theresa May says she has "responsibility as Prime Minister to make decisions" and that she "will make them".

"This was a limited, targeted strike on a legal basis that has been used before and it was a decision which required the evaluation of intelligence and information, much of which was of a nature that could not be shared with parliament".

"It was in our national interest and it is a decision that should be, I believe, supported by everybody who recognises that we need to re-establish the worldwide norms in relation to the use and the prohibition of the use of chemical weapons". "Nobody should be in any doubt of our resolve to ensure that we can not see a situation where the use of chemical weapons is normalised".

May said her government had to act intervene rapidly following reports of an alleged chemical attack in the Syrian town of Douma.

Responding to May, Corbyn accused the prime minister of being drawn into the action at the behest of the US.

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"This statement reminds us that the prime minister is accountable to this parliament, not to the whims of the USA president", he said, bringing some shouts from the Conservative benches.

"Acting through the United Nations, the prime minister should now take a diplomatic lead to negotiate a pause in this abhorrent conflict", he said.

A Kremlin statement said Mr Putin and his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, agreed during a telephone conversation that the air strikes had damaged the chances of achieving a political resolution of the conflict in Syria. "This legally questionable action risks escalating already devastating conflict". May again said it is not always possible to consult parliament first.

Opinion polls suggest that most Britons do not support military action, with one by Survation taken after the strikes were launched showing 40 percent of the 2,060 people asked opposed the action. "It is right that parliament has the right to support or stop the government from taking planned military action".

But she will be mindful of how military action can backfire.

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The White House says it is continuing to assess intelligence and talk to its allies on how to respond. He said: "We're having a number of meetings today, we'll see what happens".

Ian Blackford, the Scottish Nationalist Party leader at Westminster, also told May she should have recalled parliament before the attacks.

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