Hammond repeats Miliband 'succour to Assad' claim

Philip Hammond pictured leaving Downing Street with Chief of Defence Staff General Sir Nicholas Houghton earlier. Credit: PA

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond accused Opposition leader Ed Miliband of giving "succour" to the Assad regime as the Westminster battle over potential military action in Syria became increasingly bitter.

Mr Hammond said Labour's decision to oppose a Government bid to secure MPs' support in principle for an armed response to chemical weapons use could encourage the Syrian government.

"Anything that stops us from giving a clear united view of the British Parliament tonight will give some succour to the regime," he told Channel 4 News.

Labour earlier lodged a complaint about David Cameron's top spin doctor after he also accused Mr Miliband of potentially "giving succour" to Assad.