Legal basis for British strikes in Syria debatable - opposition leader

Syria air strikes US President Donald Trump said the Syrian regime attacks

Jeremy Corbyn has slammed Theresa May after Britain launched strikes on Syria overnight alongside the USA and France.

Corbyn said Parliament should have been given a vote on the strikes, and called for a "War Powers Act" to set out the process by which the government can launch military action.

Asked by CNN on Sunday why parliament wasn't asked for its approval for Syria attacks, British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson says our main concern was the effectiveness and speed of the operation in Syria.

Mrs May has said "all the indications" are that the Syrian regime of president Bashar al-Assad, which denies mounting a chemical attack, was responsible for the alleged attack in the formerly rebel-held town of Douma.

The Labour leader and his Liberal Democrat counterpart, Vince Cable, are to receive a security briefing from the government on Friday afternoon.

Corbyn, who has previously opposed military action in Syria, among other war zones, said he "can only countenance involvement in Syria if there is United Nations authority behind it".

But rival politicians and some Conservative colleagues have called for a parliamentary vote before any British involvement.

Inspectors at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) confirmed on Thursday that the toxin used in the assault was Novichok - a military grade nerve agent developed by Russian Federation in the 1980s.

Prime Minister Theresa May will make a statement in the House of Commons tomorrow on the strikes in Syria, which were carried out without consulting Parliament.

Some 75 people, including children, are said to have died when the Syrian regime used chlorine gas and another nerve agent in Douma last Saturday.

They also insist that the move would deprive Prime Ministers of the advantage of surprise in military interventions and that such legislation would open governments to a potential court challenge.

Ian Austin mocked his leader's suggestion, writing on Twitter: "Does anyone seriously think Putin will say 'thanks for the sample". So if you want to help us stay truly independent, please think about subscribing.

On Tuesday President Donald Trump tweeted to warn Russian Federation that a missile attack on Syria "will be coming".

The comments come after Theresa May won the backing of her Cabinet for military action against Syrian forces.

During Thursday's cabinet meeting called to discuss the United Kingdom response, she described it as "shocking and barbaric" and said it was a "further example of the erosion of worldwide law in relation to the use of chemical weapons, which was deeply concerning to us all".

Downing Street said ministers at a cabinet meeting agreed that the use of chemical weapons must not "go unchallenged".

The scheme would involve the next Labour government providing funds to local authorities who introduce bus franchising, or who take their local bus services back under public control.



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