Jeremy Corbyn: May waiting for Trump instructions on Syria

Shadow international trade secretary Barry Gardiner

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 USA and France in launching strikes against Syria.

"There is no proposal on the table at the moment for further attacks because so far thank heavens the Assad regime have not been so foolish as to launch another chemical weapons attack", he told the BBC's Andrew Marr show.

But Mr Corbyn called for the introduction of a War Powers Act to stop governments launching military action in most circumstances without the backing of MPs.

The US, France and Britain fired 105 missiles into Syria on Saturday, targeting chemical weapons facilities, in response to a chemical attack on the town of Douma, which had been a rebel stronghold.

The Cabinet minister said he was "not going to rule anything in or rule anything out" about whether the Government would give MPs a vote if fresh action was taken in Syria.

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable demanded Parliament be recalled to vote on the crisis, telling the BBC: 'The position is a very risky one because of Russian involvement - also because we have an erratic president of the United States'.

Inspectors at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) confirmed on Thursday that the toxin used in the assault was Novichok - a military grade nerve agent developed by Russian Federation in the 1980s.

Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry said taking military action against Bashar Assad's regime had been the "wrong thing to do".

Some 75 people, including children, are said to have died when the Syrian regime used chlorine gas and another nerve agent in Douma last Saturday.

Earlier on Friday, Corbyn also accused May's government of "waiting for instructions" from the U.S. on how to proceed in the Syrian crisis, but that Donald Trump was giving "alarmingly contradictory signals".

Corbyn said the strikes will make assigning blame for the use of chemical weapons in Syria "less, not more, likely".

But the Prime Minister said she had authorised the operation "because I judge this action to be in Britain's national interest".

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies have given the action their full support, secretary general Jens Stoltenberg said.

She also indicated that she sees Russian Federation, which provides military support to the Syrian regime, as "a greater threat to world peace" than the United States.

"The government must present the objectives of any proposed action to Parliament".

"In a modern, parliamentary democracy, I think you have got to have parliamentary approval if you have a planned, policy decision to launch a military attack of any significant size".

Mrs May said the action would also send a "clear signal" to anyone else who believed they could use chemical weapons "with impunity".



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