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Ashdown: Use of poison gas cannot go 'unpunished'

A former Liberal Democrat leader has called for "sharp" action against the Syrian regime today, as Downing Street said today that it has "not ruled out" recalling Parliament to discuss military action in the country.

Former Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown, pictured in 1998. Credit: Dave Kendall/PA

Writing in The Times (£), Paddy Ashdown said that although he would “hate” an action that was not sanctioned by the United Nations, it was better than to let that body be further damaged by failure to respond to what could be the most “egregious breach” of human rights since it was founded.

Lord Ashdown added: "Action taken with the aim of underpinning international law, even if it in the end doesn’t, is better, it seems to me, than no action with the certain consequence of undermining it.