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UK Parliament to be recalled to authorise Isis air strikes

By Staff Reporter


Westminster MPs will be summoned back to the House of Commons on Friday to debate bombing Islamist militants in Iraq, with Labour signalling it would back government proposals to do so.

Officials said parliament would be recalled this week, with David Cameron expecting to receive an official request for military help from the Iraqi government on Wednesday. The prime minister is expected to confirm the move later on Wednesday.

Labour and the Conservatives have been in talks over recent few days to agree the recall, which would also clash with the first day of the UK Independence party annual conference.

Ed Miliband said on Wednesday his party was likely to support the UK joining American bombing raids on the group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, known as Isis.

The Labour leader told the BBC’s Today radio programme: “We are open to action. It needs to be taken very seriously.”

Mr Cameron said on Tuesday night: “[Isis] has already undertaken and is planning further plots in Europe and elsewhere, specifically in Belgium, in Brussels . . . And there are other plots they have been attempting, including in my own country . . . This is a fight you cannot opt out of.”

The prime minister is keen to secure Labour support for such action to avoid the situation he faced last year, when he lost a Commons vote on his plans to attack the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

Mr Miliband suggested such support would be forthcoming: “Iraq is a democratic state, it is a state that we want to support.”

He added, using an alternative name for the militant group: “Isil is a threat not just to the state, not just to the region, not just a humanitarian threat, but also potentially a threat to the UK.”

But he suggested that it would be more difficult to agree to continue such action over Syria, as the US and other allies did overnight. He said: “Syria is a different case, it is not a democratic state.”

Labour wants the government to push for a UN resolution before launching strikes in Syria, but Downing Street aides have signalled this is unlikely, with Russia and China almost certain to block such a move.


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