“Terrorist Sympathisers” Against Syrian Bombing.
“Desperate slur which demeans his office.”
The Guardian reports,
David Cameron has appealed to Conservative MPs to give him an overall parliamentary majority in favour of military action in Syria by warning them against voting alongside “Jeremy Corbyn and a bunch of terrorist sympathisers”.
MPs will vote late on Wednesday after a10-and-a half-hour debate in the Commons.
Amid Downing Street concerns that support among backbench Labour MPs is weakening, the prime minister told a meeting of the 1922 committee that he needed to win the vote solely on the basis of Tory MPs’ support to achieve his goal of securing a clear consensus.
“You should not be walking through the lobbies with Jeremy Corbyn and a bunch of terrorist sympathisers,” the prime minister reportedly told told the committee.
His remarks, echoing an attack on Corbyn at the Tory conference in October, were confirmed to the Guardian by a senior MP who attended the meeting and came as the Labour leader accused Cameron of adopting a “bomb first, talk later” approach.
In a Guardian article, Corbyn asks Labour MPs to think of the “terrible consequences” of the wars in the Middle East over the past 14 years.
“David Cameron … knows that opposition to his ill-thought-out rush to war is growing,” Corbyn writes. “On planning, strategy, ground troops, diplomacy, the terrorist threat, refugees and civilian casualties, it’s become increasingly clear the prime minister’s proposal simply doesn’t stack up.
“Cameron’s approach is bomb first, talk later. But instead of adding British bombs to the others now raining down on Syria, what’s needed is an acceleration of the peace talks in Vienna.”
Labour dismissed the prime minister’s attack on Corbyn as a “contemptible and desperate slur which demeans his office”. A party spokesman said: “He clearly realises he has failed to make a convincing case for military action in Syria and opinion is shifting away from him.”
The Independent adds this,
John Baron, an ex-army Tory MP and Foreign Affairs Committee member who is vocally opposed to action, criticised his own leader when asked on BBC’s Newsnight how he felt about being described as a “terrorist sympathiser”.
“I was a platoon commander in Northern Ireland and I do think we must not resort to such language,” he said.
“Instead we should look at the actual evidence before us. There is clearly a lack of ground force to take Daesh on and that is one of the key issues we have got to address.”
A YouGov poll for The Times found public opinion moving against air strikes – with the proportion in favour dropping from 59 per cent to 48 per cent and those against rising from 20 per cent to 31 per cent with undecideds unchanged on 21 per cent.
Last night, Mr Corbyn’s spokesman described Mr Cameron’s comments as “a contemptible and desperate slur which demeans his office”.
“He clearly realises he has failed to make a convincing case for military action and that opinion is shifting away from him,” he said.
There really isn’t anything left to say when a Prime Minister accuses his opponents of being “terrorist sympathisers”.