South Tyneside MPs slam failure to recall Parliament over Syria airstrikes

Prime Minister Theresa May makes a statement to MPs in the House of Commons over her decision to launch air strikes against Syria.
Prime Minister Theresa May makes a statement to MPs in the House of Commons over her decision to launch air strikes against Syria.

South Tyneside’s MPs have condemned the Prime Minister’s failure to recall Parliament before authorising air strikes in Syria.

Theresa May faced anger yesterday over her decision to give Saturday’s attack the go-ahead without recalling MPs from their Easter recess.

You can’t say something is justified if you don’t know the rationale for it.

Emma Lewell-Buck

In a statement to the House of Commons, she said it was ‘Parliament’s responsibility to hold me to account,’ but insisted the attack had been ‘a limited, targeted strike on a legal basis that has been used before.’

“It was a decision that required the evaluation of intelligence and information, much of which was of a nature that could not be shared with Parliament,” she said.

“We have always been clear that the government has the right to act quickly in the national interest.”

But South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck said MPs should have had a say on the decision: “I think there was no reason she could not have recalled Parliament. Parliament has been recalled before for such matters.

“All that has happened now is that people have multiple questions but now she is having to answer them in retrospect. If she had recalled Parliament, all those questions could have been answered.

“I have got a number of questions that are not answered. You can’t say something is justified if you don’t know the rationale for it.

“There have been chemical attacks before but we have not intervened. This war has been waging for years.”

Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn accused the Government of acting under orders from the White House: “Theresa May is following Donald Trump’s lead rather than consulting Parliament as she should have, out of fear that she would have been defeated,” he said.

“The only person looking statesman-like here is Prime Minister-in-waiting Jeremy Corbyn, whose call for the introduction of a War Powers Act to force a parliamentary vote before military actions are launched I support.”