Corbyn: UK Needs 'War Powers Act' After legally Questionable Syria Strike

Lady Farrington of Ribbleton

Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton Labour peer – obituary

John Woodcock and Jeremy Corbyn.

Polling last week by Yougov shows only 22 per cent of the British public support military action in Syria, while 43 per cent are opposed, even though a majority believe the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was probably behind the chemical attack.

Other Western leaders are considering potential retaliation against the Syrian government for the use of chemical weapons in the conflict.

There have been calls from opposition parties and some Conservative MPs for Parliament to have a vote beforehand.

Mr Trump is considering his military options in Syria after Saturday's chemical attack against the rebel-held town of Douma.

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

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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". "It's never pointless calling for that, anything that brings a cessation of the use of chemical weapons moves us nearer, if not totally to, a ceasefire and a reopening of the Geneva talks which has got to be the right way forward", he said.

The White House insists that final decisions have still to be made.

Evidence is still being gathered, but USA officials are understood to have results from blood and urine samples that indicate chlorine and a nerve agent were used in the Syrian town of Douma.

A girl looks on following alleged chemical weapons attack, in what is said to be Douma, Syria in this still image from video obtained by Reuters on April 8, 2018.

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?"

Mr Corbyn said: "President Trump has a way with words, that's for sure".

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Do MPs need to approve United Kingdom action in Syria?

Her own MPs and opposition figures such as Corbyn have called for a rare Saturday sitting of the Commons to authorize any action.

The United Nations Security Council rejected Saturday a resolution proposed by Russian Federation seeking to condemn the US -led attack in Syria.

Critics of the idea of a War Powers Act argue that such legislation would need to include a hard-to-define "emergency clause" when governments could act without parliamentary backing.

But British involvement in further military intervention is controversial at home, in a country still haunted by its role in the US-led invasion of Iraq.

But he said it was "intellectually bankrupt" to expect the security services to lay out all the information they have. To say that Parliament is just sidelined before you take such a serious decision is a very retrograde step.

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