Jeremy Corbyn has accused the Government of “waiting for instructions from Donald Trump” as it decides how to respond to a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria.
In a statement, the Labour leader also said that UK military intervention “risks escalating an already devastating conflict”.
After Theresa May won the backing of her Cabinet for action, Mr Corbyn added that “ministers should take their proposals, such as they are, to parliament”.
He suggested, too, that the basis for intervening was shaky: “Even US defence secretary James Mattis has said we ‘don’t have evidence’ and warned further military action could ‘escalate out of control’,” Mr Corbyn said.
President Macron of France, however, said there was “proof” that “at least chlorine” had been used by the Assad regime.
And US broadcaster NBC, quoting US officials, said blood and urine samples had been obtained which tested positive for chemical weapons.
There appeared to be opposition to Mr Corbyn from a member of his own front bench.
Shadow international development secretary Kate Osamor said Syrian President Bashar al Assad had to go and that “intervention must take place” if the UN decided the Syrian government had used chemical weapons, Politics Home reported.
“If a leader is killing their own they need to be removed. We don’t keep them there. They need to go. He (Assad) needs to be removed,” she said.
After a two-hour emergency Cabinet meeting on Thursday, UK ministers agreed it was “highly likely” that President Assad was behind a chemical weapons attack on Saturday in the rebel-held town of Douma that reportedly left dozens of people dead.
Downing Street said there had been ministerial agreement that such actions should not go “unchallenged”.
The UK will continue to work with the US and France to coordinate an international response, Number 10 said.
The statement made no reference to the Commons being given a vote on military action, prompting speculation that the Prime Minister may be preparing to proceed without consulting MPs.
Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott said it would be “outrageous for the Government not to bring military action in Syria to Parliament, for Parliament to have a vote”.
When Mrs May spoke later to Mr Trump, Downing Street said the leaders had “agreed that the Assad regime had established a pattern of dangerous behaviour in relation to the use of chemical weapons”.
Despite declaring on Monday that he would make “major decisions” on a US response to the Douma attack within 48 hours, Mr Trump has now downplayed the prospect of immediate action.
He tweeted: “Never said when an attack on Syria would take place. Could be very soon or not so soon at all!”
Referring to Mr Trump’s tweeting, Russian deputy prime minister Arkady Dvorkovich said international relations should not depend on the mood of one person when he wakes up in the morning.
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the international watchdog, confirmed a fact-finding team was on its way to Syria and would begin work on Saturday.
Russia, which backs President Assad’s regime, has been granted a request for a meeting of the UN Security Council on Friday, to discuss the potential threat to international peace that air strikes in Syria could bring.
Moscow’s UN ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, claimed the “immediate priority is to avert the danger of war” following a closed-door meeting of the UN Security Council on Thursday.
In his statement, Mr Corbyn said 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”.
He added: “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.”
From – SkyNews