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Jeremy Corbyn: UK of 'waiting for instructions' from Trump on Syria

15 April 2018

He added: "The Government should do whatever possible to push Russian Federation and the United States to agree to an independent UN-led investigation of last weekend's horrific chemical weapons attack so that those responsible can be held to account".

President Trump spoke to the prime minister on Thursday evening, and the pair agreed that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had "established a pattern of unsafe behaviour in relation to the use of chemical weapons".

He added: "The consequences of any country taking unilateral action that has no legal basis are that it's an encouragement for others to do exactly the same and reduces our ability to complain when others do that". "But the U.S. administration is giving alarmingly contradictory signals", he said.

The Labour leader's condemnation came as the SNP's Nicola Sturgeon warned that the airstrikes could make the seven-year civil war in Syria worse, and accused Ms May of "complying with Presidential wishes".

May is certain to face MPs' anger on Monday when parliament returns from recess.

"The reason they're not doing it is they are frightened they'll lose the vote".

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BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg said it was understood the United Kingdom was planning a genuinely joint effort with the USA and France, rather than playing a supporting role.

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

It could potentially force an SO24 emergency topical debate - a technical procedure that would allow the House to vote on whether there should be a vote to authorise military action.

She said: "This is the first time as Prime Minister that I have had to take the decision to commit our armed forces in combat - and it is not a decision I have taken lightly".

Jeremy Corbyn urged Theresa May to postpone the attack on Syria during a midnight telephone conversation on Friday.

Shadow foreign secretary Diane Abbott also warned military action could end up with the RAF inadvertently "serving as the air arm" of Jihadi extremist rebels.

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Speaking at Downing Street on Saturday morning, May said the strikes were "limited and targeted" and created to degrade the Syrian regime's ability to develop and use chemical weapons.

Prime Minister Theresa May on Thursday won backing from her senior ministers to take unspecified action with the United States and France to deter further use of chemical weapons by Syria.

"But I believe it should also be a message to others that the worldwide community is not going to stand by and allow chemical weapons to be used with impunity".

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.

"I think it is right that the global community has come together and said we will not accept this", the prime minister added.

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Jeremy Corbyn: UK of 'waiting for instructions' from Trump on Syria