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Labour warns of 'unease' about supplying Syrian rebels

Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander has said there is unease "across party lines" about the Prime Minister's comments on the potential supply of British arms to Syria's opposition forces. In a statement, he said:

For months Labour has called on the Government to answer basic questions about their approach, such as how would the Prime Minister ensure that weapons supplied did not fall into the wrong hands and how would this step help to de-escalate the conflict rather than prolong it?

The G8 is a key window of opportunity for David Cameron to exert pressure on President Putin and it is vital that he uses the coming hours to do so.

– Douglas Alexander, shadow foreign secretary

Labour: Vote 'is further devastating blow to PM's authority'

This vote is a further devastating blow to the Prime Minister's authority.

It demonstrates that David Cameron has managed to turn a Europe issue into a leadership issue.

This is a Prime Minister who has lost control of the agenda and tonight lost control of his Party.

David Cameron’s backbenchers have shown they simply won’t give up until he gives in.

The real risk is that he spends the coming month trying to get his party back in line, instead of focusing on getting our economy back on track.

– Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander

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Labour: Cameron has lost control over Europe

Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander
Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander Credit: PA Wire

Labour's Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander has accused David Cameron of losing control of his party over Europe.

It follows reports that the Conservatives are considering publishing a draft bill which would guarantee a referendum on Britain's membership of the EU.

"This seems to be just the latest panicked response from the Prime Minister who is now following, rather than leading his backbenchers" Mr Alexander said.

"David Cameron is a Prime Minister who has both lost control of the agenda and lost control of his party."

"Labour have said that we don't think committing now to an in/out referendum up to four years from now is in the national interest because the priority must be getting growth into the economy not getting Britain out of Europe."

Labour: EU Bill shows Cameron has lost control of party

Labour Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander had this response to the Prime Minister's decision to publish a Bill for an EU referendum:

This seems to be just the latest panicked response from the Prime Minister who is now following, rather than leading his backbenchers.

David Cameron is a Prime Minister who has both lost control of the agenda and lost control of his Party.

Labour have said that we don't think committing now to an in/out referendum up to four years from now is in the national interest because the priority must be getting growth into the economy not getting Britain out of Europe.

This latest step has more to do with trying to get his Party back in line rather than getting the economy back on track.

– douglas alexander, shadow foreign secretary

Labour: PM is putting party consensus on EU before jobs

Labour's Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander has said that the Prime Minister's comments on the EU, made on the BBC's Today programme, raise more questions than they answer:

The gap between his back benchers and our EU partners remains un-bridgeable.

It is little wonder that British business leaders like Richard Branson and Martin Sorrell, together with the Americans, the Germans and the Austrians, have all warned in the last week of the dangers of the UK sleepwalking towards exit from Europe.

At a time when the priority should be jobs and growth, the Prime Minister sadly seems willing to put vital UK investment at risk for the sake of trying to keep his party united.

– douglas alexander, shadow foreign secretary

Douglas Alexander: Labour has been 'entirely consistent'

Shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander has said Labour had been "entirely consistent" since July in arguing for a real-terms cut in EU spending.

He said: "The Labour Party was consistent and clear in July that we thought the right approach for Britain, in fact the right approach for Europe, was to go for a real-terms cut.

"We support Britain's future in Europe but we also support the reform of Europe," he added.

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Douglas Alexander on Labour's foreign policy

On an Israeli-Palestinian settlement:

To continue to build settlements on other people’s land is wrong, and it is illegal. And so too is launching rockets into Israel ...

We will work with our international partners to see not only a secure Israel but a viable Palestinian State.

On Iran:

A pre-emptive strike now by Israel cannot be justified, but nor can Iran’s evasion and hate-filled rhetoric ...

Britain must continue to work for a peaceful resolution to this crisis with our international partners led by Cathy Ashton.

On "winning back trust":

The long shadow of the last difficult decade has taught us many lessons. We have to win back trust. I understand that ...

But for Britain to now try and retreat from the world would be as foolish as it would be futile ...

It’s not imperial delusions that give you strength in the modern world, it’s the capacity to cooperate and collaborate.

Alexander challenges PM to 'break your silence on Afghanistan'

Douglas Alexander is accusing the Prime Minister of avoiding talking about Afghanistan. He told the Labour conference:

David Cameron, the self same Prime Minister who told us in May 2010 that Afghanistan would be his number one foreign policy priority, has now not made a single speech on Afghanistan to the House of Commons in 14 months.

Conference, that is shameful. From this platform I say today to David Cameron, break your silence on Afghanistan.

– Douglas Alexander, shadow foreign secretary

Shadow Foreign Secretary quotes runner Mo Farah

Great Britain's Mo Farah entertains the crowd as he takes part in the Olympic and Paralympic Athletes Parade Credit: Stephen Pond/PA Wire

Douglas Alexander has started his speech by quoting the British distance runner and double gold-medalist Mo Farah.

When asked by a reporter whether he would have preferred to compete in the Olympics for his native Somalia, Mr Farah replied: "Listen mate, this my country. This is where I come from and when I put on a Great Britain vest I am proud. I am very proud."

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