Westminster today – LIVE: Jeremy Corbyn leads debate over UK military intervention following Syria strikes


Jeremy Corbyn has opened a second emergency debate over Britain’s role in missile strikes on Syria’s suspected chemical weapons facilities.

It follows a marathon sessions in the Commons on Monday and today’s motion will consider the rights of Parliament to debate and approve military action by British forces overseas.

Theresa May has also apologised to Caribbean leaders for the Government’s “appalling treatment” of the so-called Windrush generation.

It comes after Amber Rudd, the home secretary, announced on Monday she was setting up a new taskforce to speed up the regularisation of the immigration status of people who arrived in the UK as long ago as the 1940s.

Live Updates

41 mins ago

Results are in. The motion is passed 317 to 256 – majority of 61. So Corbyn’s desired outcome is not achieved.

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MPs are now voting on Corbyn’s motion about whether the House has considered whether Parliament should be consulted on military action. 
He’s ordered Labour MPs to vote against his own measure in protest.

1 hour ago

UK pledges £212m to help young girls in Commonwealth countries go to school

The UK will pledge £212m to help a million girls living in developing Commonwealth nations go to school for longer, Theresa May has announced. The prime minister pledged the cash with the aim of helping children spend 12 years in school at a speech at the biennial Commonwealth heads of government meeting (CHOGM) in London.

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Jeremy Corbyn’s proposal to limit the Government’s ability to launch military operations would “entrench inaction”, MPs have heard.

Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg took Mr Corbyn to task over his approach to the missile strikes in Syria, telling MPs of the numerous powers Parliament already has to check the use of military force – dating back to the Bill of Rights in 1689.

Mr Rees-Mogg challenged the Labour leader to call a vote of confidence in the Government if he did not feel comfortable with the strikes.

He said: “It would have been open to the opposition instead of going for an SO24 debate, to ask for a vote of confidence in Her Majesty’s Government, and I think that would have been the right thing to do having listened carefully to the leader of the opposition’s speech.

“The opposition fundamentally does not have confidence, or its leadership does not, to have made this decision and then we would have seen whether this House had confidence in the executive to make the decisions that are the legitimate business of the executive.”

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Mr Lammy said he has been contacted by Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes and told that the deportation of Mr Haynes would not go ahead on Wednesday.

“The deportation is being halted and his case is being reviewed. Justice will be done,” he wrote on Twitter.

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Son of Windrush-generation immigrant ‘facing deportation tomorrow’, David Lammy MP says

The son of a Windrush-generation immigrant is planning to leave the UK tomorrow amid threats of deportation, despite ministers’ reassurances that no one with the right to stay in the UK will be removed, an MP has said. 
Ruth Williams, 75, said she felt “betrayed” by Britain after the Home Office twice turned down applications for her 35-year-old son, Mozi Haynes, to remain in the country.

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Mrs May said it was “right” that she took the decision on the military strike, and told MPs that coming to Parliament before undertaking military action would “compromise the effectiveness of our operations and safety of British servicemen and women”, and said intelligence and assessment “cannot be shared in full” with Parliament.

The Prime Minister said Mr Corbyn’s suggestion of a War Powers Act would remove the “vital flexibility from the convention that has been established”.

“It was right for me as Prime Minister with the full support of the Cabinet and in drawing on the advice of security and military officials to take the decision on this military strike last weekend and for Parliament to be able to hold me to account for it,” she said.

“By contrast, a War Powers Act would remove that capability from a Prime Minister and remove the vital flexibility from the convention that has been established, for it would not be possible to enshrine a convention in a way that is strong and meaningful but nonetheless flexible enough to deal with what are by definition unpredictable circumstances.”

Mrs May added that a War Powers Act would mean smaller scale and targeted military action such as that over the weekend in Syria “would become unviable”.

2 hours ago

Tory MP Andrew Bridgen drew laughs in the Chamber with a sideswipe at Jeremy Corbyn, suggesting the Labour leader would not authorise military action even if the Isle of Wight were invaded.

He said: “Some in this place would not have authorised military action to retake the Falkland Islands in 1982 and I’m afraid I think some people wouldn’t authorise military action to retake the Isle of Wight if it were invaded.”

2 hours ago

‘Research shows that when women are involved in peace processes, they last much longer. That’s why we’re making changes,’ writes Commonwealth minister Lord Ahmad independent.co.uk/voices/stop-wa…

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May reiterates that intelligence, though it shared with those on the privy council, cannot be shared with members of Parliament before the attack on Syria at the weekend. 
If I could to the House before the action, May says she would have shared the breadth of the action. “In doing so, we would have failed to stand up to Assad in the face of this atrocity.
“We would have failed to stand up to the global consensus that these weapons should never be used.”

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Prime Minister Theresa May began by paying tribute to the “professionalism, dedication and courage” of the Armed Forces.

She said: “There is no graver decision for a Prime Minister than to commit our service men and women to combat operations. Understanding where authority and accountability for their deployment and employment lies is of vital importance.

“So let me begin by being absolutely clear about the Government’s policy in relation to the convention that has developed, because there is a fundamental difference between the policy and the perception of it that is conveyed in the motion before us today.”

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Theresa May is now responding to Jeremy Corbyn’s opening remarks.
She says the assumption of the convention that no decision can be taken without parliamentary approval is the “wrong” interpretation of that convention.

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Mr Corbyn added: “It seems the convention established in 2003 and in the Cabinet manual is being tossed aside as simply being inconvenient.

“I believe it is necessary and urgent that this House has the opportunity to discuss its rights and responsibilities in decisions on UK military intervention, which is not currently codified by law and which, as we’ve discovered in recent days, cannot be guaranteed by conventions alone.

“The Prime Minister’s actions are a clear demonstration of why Parliament must assert its authority on this subject.”

3 hours ago

“There is no more serious issue than sending our armed forces to war,” Corbyn says.
“The Executive must be the servant of Parliament – not the other way round.” 

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I’ve been in Salisbury for a briefing on decontamination work starting in Salisbury after the nere agent attack on… twitter.com/i/web/status/9…

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Introducing debate on military intervention Jeremy Corbyn urges MPs attempting to intervene to “take a break” and try and read some of the Chilcot report.

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