Syria airstrikes 'will be backed by half of shadow cabinet'

Credit: PA

Half of Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet have privately pledged support for airstrikes in Syria, reports say.

Senior party members have reportedly spoken to Conservative ministers saying they will support action to tackle the so-called Islamic State, if a coherent plan is drawn up.

Labour frontbenchers expected to back military action include shadow foreign secretary, Hilary Benn and three of his team - David Hanson, Pat McFadden and Diana Johnson, the Sunday Times (£) reports.

Deputy leader Tom Watson, and shadow cabinet members Vernon Coaker, Michael Dugher, Jonathan Ashworth, Gloria De Piero are also thought to support military intervention.

"There is a majority in the Commons for airstrikes in Syria if Cameron has a proper plan for targeting Isis," a shadow cabinet member told the Sunday Times.

"You would get half the shadow cabinet supporting it."

David Cameron is expected to call a vote in parliament next month. Yesterday the foreign secretary Philip Hammond said the possibility of a fresh vote is under constant review following talks in London with US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Jeremy Corbyn has repeatedly spoken of his opposition to further military action in Syria, arguing it would lead to calls for ground troops to be sent in, saying it would "lead us straight back to Iraq and all the horrors of that."