Jeremy Corbyn says Theresa May 'waiting for instructions from Trump' on Syria

Posted On: 
13th April 2018

Jeremy Corbyn has accused Theresa May of "waiting for instructions from President Donald Trump" on whether to bomb Syria.

Jeremy Corbyn says military action in Syria would make the situation in the country worse.
PA Images

The Labour leader spoke out after the Cabinet decided to "take action" against the Assad regime in the wake of last weekend's chemical attack in Douma which left up to 75 civilians - including children - dead.

Mr Corbyn also repeated his calls for the House of Commons to be given a vote on whether the RAF should take part in air strikes, and for the UN to carry out an investigation into the atrocity - even though Russia has already blocked that option.

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And he warned that "intervention in Syria's appalling multi-sided war risks escalating an already devastating conflict".

He said: "The Government appears to be waiting for instructions from President Donald Trump on how to proceed. But the US administration is giving alarmingly contradictory signals. 

"Even US defence secretary James Mattis has said we "don't have evidence" and warned further military action could "escalate out of control".

"Ministers should take their proposals, such as they are, to parliament. And Britain should press for an independent UN-led investigation of last weekend’s horrific chemical weapons attack so that those responsible can be held to account. 

"Rather than further military action, what is urgently needed is a coordinated international drive to achieve a ceasefire and a negotiated settlement under UN auspices. The humanitarian priority must be to halt the killing on all sides.

"The need to restart genuine negotiations for peace and an inclusive political settlement of the Syrian conflict, including the withdrawal of all foreign forces, could not be more urgent. We must do everything we can, no matter how challenging, to bring that about."

Mr Corbyn's comments came after the Cabinet met for more than two hours yesterday to discuss how the Government should respond to the crisis.

In a statement, Number 10 said: ""Cabinet agreed that the Assad regime has a track record of the use of chemical weapons and it is highly likely that the regime is responsible for Saturday's attack.

"The Prime Minister said it was a further example of the erosion of international law in relation to the use of chemical weapons, which was deeply concerning to us all.

"Following a discussion in which every member present made a contribution, Cabinet agreed it was vital that the use of chemical weapons did not go unchallenged. Cabinet agreed on the need to take action to alleviate humanitarian distress and to deter the further use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime.

"Cabinet agreed the Prime Minister should continue to work with allies in the United States and France to coordinate an international response."