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Calls for Corbyn to resign over Syria vote revolt

Senior Labour MPs have called for Jeremy Corbyn to resign as tensions within the party rise over whether Britain should join airstrikes on Syria.

It comes after the party leader told MPs in a letter that he could not support military intervention against the so-called Islamic State in the country, sparking a furious backlash from shadow cabinet members who had not yet agreed their position on the matter.

Jeremy Corbyn faces calls to resign Credit: PA

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, former minister John Spellar said Mr Corbyn's behaviour over the vote had been "unacceptable".

It's absolutely right for him to put that view in the shadow cabinet. It's right for them to discuss it.

They thought they were going away to resume that discussion on Monday. He's now trying to pre-empt that and whip up a storm inside the party.

Certainly... they should not resign. They should hold on to those places. If anyone should resign after this incident, it should be Jeremy Corbyn.

– John Spellar, MP for Warley

Another former minister, Fiona Mactaggart, echoed his sentiments - despite saying she was not convinced by the case for bombing either. Speaking to BBC Radio Berkshire, she said:

[Corbyn] hasn't got a strategy to lead the party from where it is to where it needs to be and the people of the country can see that. I think it probably is unsustainable.

I think [quitting] would be a sensible strategy because I think that the division at the moment is causing real problems.

– Fiona Mactaggart, MP for Slough


Cameron urges Labour MPs to 'do the right thing' on Syria

David Cameron has urged Labour MPs to back plans for the RAF to join airstrikes in Syria, saying they should "do the right thing" and "vote on the basis of the arguments".

David Cameron addressed Commons yesterday Credit: PA

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn sparked a furious backlash from MPs when he announced that he could not support military intervention, despite the shadow cabinet not having agreed a position on the issue.

Frontbenchers including shadow education secretary Emily Thornberry have warned that Corbyn faces a rebellion if he tries to whip MPs into voting with him.

Speaking in Malta ahead of a Commonwealth summit, the Prime Minister encouraged wavering MPs to support his motion, saying he believed there was a "compelling case" to take "effective action" in Syria.

I thought many Members of Parliament on all sides of the House of Commons yesterday agreed there was a compelling case, so I would urge all of them to vote on the basis of the arguments for effective action on a compelling case to keep our country safe.

Vote on those arguments and we can do the right thing.

– David Cameron

Benn 'backs airstrikes but will not resign from shadow cabinet'

Shadow foreign minister Hilary Benn has said he will not resign from Labour's front bench - despite backing airstrikes in Syria, opposing the position taken by leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Hilary Benn will not resign, despite backing airstrikes, he said Credit: PA

It comes after Mr Corbyn provoked a backlash from Labour MPs by saying he could not support the military action, despite the shadow cabinet not reaching an agreed position.

Benn spoke to BBC R4's Today programme this morning, after admitting yesterday there was a "compelling" case for joining coalition airstrikes against the so-called Islamic State militant group in Syria.

Shadow minister admits rebellion against Corbyn is likely

There will be a rebellion within Labour if party leaders try to whip a vote on the issue of Syria, a shadow minister has admitted.

Emily Thornberry said MPs could not 'stick to a whip' on Syria, if one was imposed Credit: PA

MP Emily Thornberry said there was "brutally honest" debate among MPs at the moment, as they ask their constituents what they believe should happen.

It comes after leader Jeremy Corbyn sparked a furious backlash after revealing he could not back RAF air strikes against so-called Islamic State in Syria, before the shadow cabinet had reached an agreed position on the issue.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Ms Thornberry said:

We have an open debate, and a brutally honest debate, going on within the Labour Party.

I think there will always be divisions within the political parties, the Conservatives will have their divisions too.

When it comes to an issue of war it is something that people think very profoundly about. We do usually act collectively, but I think on issues like this there are times when people cannot stick to a whip which is imposed.

– Emily Thornberry MP

Corbyn cancels by-election trip amid Labour row over Syria

Jeremy Corbyn is at odds with his shadow cabinet over Syria airstrikes. Credit: PA

Jeremy Corbyn has cancelled a trip to Oldham to campaign in a by-election amid a shadow cabinet revolt over airstrikes on Syria.

The Labour leader was due to travel to the Oldham West constituency on Friday to support Jim McMahon ahead of next week's by-election.

As recently as early on Thursday evening, Mr Corbyn tweeted that he was looking forward to the visit.

However, a spokeswoman for the Labour leader has now said: "Regrettably Jeremy Corbyn is not now visiting Oldham because matters to do with Syria mean he must return to London."

Mr Corbyn is at odds with top team after coming out and saying he could not back RAF air strikes against so-called Islamic State in Syria before the shadow cabinet had reached an agreed position on the issue.


Diane Abbott: PM not made strong case for Syria airstrikes

Diane Abbott, the shadow international development secretary, has said that she does not believe that the prime minister has made a strong case for airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria.

She told ITV News that was not convinced that David Cameron had shown that military action in the war-torn country would make Britain safer.

The Labour MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington said it had been known for months that some Labour MPs supported airstrikes, but that the question was how the majority of MPs would vote when they saw the evidence.

Shadow minister says 'people will walk' over Corbyn letter

A shadow minister has told ITV News members of Jeremy Corbyn's front bench team will quit after he surprised them by sending a letter to Labour MPs detailing his personal opposition to the PM's plans for airstrikes in Syria.

A Labour source also told ITV News Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship shadow ministers Diane Abbott and Lucy Powell had argued at the meeting of the shadow cabinet to discuss David Cameron's military proposals.

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