Jeremy Corbyn Syria bombing statement in full as he insists Theresa May is accountable to Parliament, not Donald Trump


Jeremy Corbyn faced cries of ‘shame’ as he insisted Theresa May was accountable to parliament and not Donald Trump over air strikes in Syria.

The calls came as MPs were given their first opportunity to quiz Theresa May over the missile strikes which took place in the early hours of Saturday on military targets.

The co-ordinated strikes with the US and France followed a chemical weapon attack in Douma, which is the last rebel-held town near Damascus.

Mr Corbyn said: “This statement serves as a reminder that the Prime Minister is accountable to this Parliament, not to the whims of the US president.

“We clearly need a War Powers Act in this country to transform a now broken convention into a legal obligation.”


He added: “Her predecessor came to this House to seek authority for military action in Libya and in Syria in 2015, and the House had a vote over Iraq in 2003.

“There is no more serious issue than the life and death matters of military action. It is right that Parliament has the power to support or stop the Government from taking planned military action.

“The BBC reports that the Prime Minister argued for the bombing to be brought forward to avoid parliamentary scrutiny – will she today confirm or deny those reports?

“I believe the action was legally questionable.”

Speaker John Bercow had to intervene to calm MPs, telling them Mr Corbyn must be afforded the same “respectful quiet” given to Mrs May.

Mr Corbyn insisted Attorney General Jeremy Wright’s legal advice must be published in full on Monday.


He also raised concerns over the use of banned cluster bombs and white phosphorous by Saudi Arabia as he raised humanitarian concerns over Yemen.

Mr Corbyn asked: “Will the Prime Minister commit today to ending support to the Saudi bombing campaign and arms sales to Saudi Arabia?”

The Labour leader later cited the Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq War and asked the Prime Minister whether she agreed with its “key recommendation” that there needed to be greater checks on intelligence when it was used to make the case for Government policies.


He said: “Given that neither the UN nor the OPCW (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) has yet investigated the Douma attack, it is clear that diplomatic and non-military means have not been fully exhausted.

“While much suspicion rightly points to the Assad government, chemical weapons have been used by other groups in the conflict.”

Mr Corbyn added that it was “vitally important” that OPCW inspectors were allowed to investigate and report their findings.

“We have the grotesque spectacle of a wider geopolitical battle being waged by proxy, with the Syrian people used as pawns on all sides.”



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