Labour MPs to get free vote on Syria air strikes


Labour MPs are to be granted a free vote on air strikes against Islamic State (IS) in Syria, the party has confirmed.

Leader Jeremy Corbyn has made clear his personal opposition to extending RAF bombing missions from Iraq into Syria, but will not require his MPs to follow him into the No lobby if David Cameron calls a vote on strikes against IS, also known as Isil or Isis.

Mr Corbyn wrote to the Prime Minister asking for a full two-day debate in the House of Commons before MPs decide.

In a statement following a two-hour meeting of the shadow cabinet, a Labour spokesman said: "Today's shadow cabinet agreed to back Jeremy Corbyn's recommendation of a free vote on the Government's proposal to authorise UK bombing in Syria.

"The shadow cabinet decided to support the call for David Cameron to step back from the rush to war and hold a full-two day debate in the House of Commons on such a crucial national decision.

"Shadow cabinet members agreed to call David Cameron to account on the unanswered questions raised by his case for bombing: including how it would accelerate a negotiated settlement of the Syrian civil war; what ground troops would take territory evacuated by Isis; military co-ordination and strategy; the refugee crisis and the imperative to cut-off of supplies to Isis."