May concedes Syria debate, to avoid being pushed into one

Theresa May will face questions over Syria in the Commons on Monday. Credit: PA

The SNP, led in Westminster by Ian Blackford, had been taking the necessary steps to organise a debate on the Syria bombing under Standing Order 24.

It now looks as though the prime minister has headed him off at the pass, by announcing she too will be asking the Speaker for such a debate.

She and her whips took the view it was a better look to be volunteering that MPs have a right to express their views in Parliament on her very first decision to authorise a military strike, than to be pressurised into doing such.

To be clear however this is NOT the PM conceding the big point made by Labour, the SNP and the Green - namely that she should have delayed the bombing till MPs approved it.

It is her settled view that she was fully entitled to use the powers vested in her by the Crown Prerogative to make her intervention in Syria, in order to avert what she saw as a humanitarian crisis.

It is what she said in her Downing Street press conference on Saturday morning. She will say it again in the Commons today.

This battle between PM and MPs, between executive and legislature, for the determining say over military action has been raging since the Iraq war was started on a false prospectus.

It will continue today. And as the latest member of the exclusive club of prime ministers, Theresa May will refuse to have her hands tied, her powers to launch missiles constrained.