.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Friday, November 27, 2015

Labour leadership chaos over Syria

Just when we thought that the Labour Party could not get any more chaotic following the Mao Zedong little red book episode, Jeremy Corbyn throws another spanner in the works.

As the Guardian reports, Jeremy Corbyn is at odds with his shadow foreign secretary, Hilary Benn after they adopted sharply opposing views on UK military action against Islamic State just hours after David Cameron argued it was time to extend bombing to Syria:

The Labour leader wrote to his MPs saying that the prime minister had failed earlier on Thursday to explain how an aerial campaign would protect UK security, setting up an intense debate in the party ahead of an expected Commons vote next week to broaden RAF airstrikes from Iraq to Syria. “I do not believe the prime minister’s current proposal for airstrikes in Syria will protect our security and therefore cannot support it,” Corbyn wrote.

That set Corbyn at odds with Benn, who had earlier told a meeting of the shadow cabinet that the arguments in favour of extending the airstrikes were “compelling”. The shadow foreign secretary, who believes that the prime minister has fulfilled the conditions laid down in a motion passed at the Labour conference on Syria, also contradicted Corbyn in public.

Benn told the BBC: “We have heard compelling arguments both because of the threat to the United Kingdom and also because we are right to have been taking the action that we have in Iraq to support the Iraqi government in trying to repel the invasion from Isil/Daesh.”

According to social media, it is not just Benn that the Labour leader has upset. Shadow Cabinet members have apparently been furiously briefing against Corbyn, many accusing him of telling them one thing and then going behind their back and doing another.

Sophy Ridge on Sky News reports on what she describes as an extraordinary shadow cabinet meeting:

The Labour leader started by reading out a pre-prepared statement setting out his opposition to David Cameron’s call to bomb Islamic State targets.

He read it quickly, and some MPs struggled to hear him.

They quickly got the point, though.

Mr Corbyn was unconvinced by Mr Cameron’s case, felt there were unanswered questions and would not support it if a vote was called.

I’m told only four members of the shadow cabinet explicitly backed Mr Corbyn’s stance.

A total of 15 members of the shadow cabinet spoke out against his position, expressing their support for airstrikes in Syria.

How long will it take before something gives and shadow cabinet members start to resign?
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?