Syria: Corbyn accused Government of 'waiting for instructions' from Trump
Apr 15 2018 by Desiree Burns
The UK government is "waiting for instructions" from Donald Trump about whether to launch a missile strike on Syria, Jeremy Corbyn has said. This legally questionable action risks escalating... an already devastating conflict and therefore makes real accountability for war crimes and use of chemical weapons less, not more likely'.
Stop the War, a pacifist coalition once chaired by Corbyn, has called a demonstration outside the British parliament on Monday to protest against the strikes.
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. 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.
Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of Britain's Labour Party, speaks at the launch of their local election campaign, in London, April 9, 2018.
In a subsequent tweet on Thursday, the USA president said an attack on Syria "could be very soon or not so soon at all".
The Labour leader also called on Britain to push for an independent United Nations -led investigation to hold those responsible to account, saying: "Rather than further military action, what is urgently needed is a coordinated worldwide drive to achieve a ceasefire and a negotiated settlement under United Nations auspices". The humanitarian priority must be to halt the killing on all sides.
Ms Abbott told the BBC's Today programme: "We would press on trying to bring people to the table".
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May's office said she had spoken to Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia; Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan; German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the prime ministers of Italy, Australia and Canada about the strikes.
"Air strikes by USA and United Kingdom forces have not resolved the situation in Syria in the past and I am not persuaded they will do so now", the Scottish First Minister said. "There has to be a political negotiation". While some Labour MPs support military intervention, some Conservative MPs are concerned about their government's more hawkish approach. "There was the second world war".
"Bombs won't save lives or bring about peace", he said, adding that Britain should be leading the response and "not taking instructions from Washington and putting British military personnel in harm's way".
Pushed on the point by Today, Ms Abbott said: "It's clear, that at this point, Russian Federation - its role in Syria... its role in the poison gas attack in Salisbury - is a greater threat to world peace than the United States".
"The reason they're not doing it is they are frightened they'll lose the vote".
The Labour leader has asked for a security briefing - on privy council terms - before Thursday's cabinet meeting, but it is understood no response has been received from No 10.
The SNP is pushing for an emergency debate on the matter. However, the vote would not be binding on the government, which has shown over the past six months it is minded to abstain and effectively ignore opposition motions.