James Forsyth

Commons vote for strikes against IS in Iraq

Commons vote for strikes against IS in Iraq
Text settings

By 524 votes to 43, the House of Commons has voted to support air-strikes against Islamic State in Iraq. The margin of victory is not surprising given how limited the motion was, it rules out ground troops and makes clear there’ll be another vote before any action in Syria.

But in a sign of the unease of some on the Labour side, Rushanara Ali, who represents George Galloway’s old seat of Bethnal Green and Bow, has resigned from the front bench over Labour’s support for the motion. Indeed, the first estimates are that 24 Labour MPs voted against while just five Tories opposed.

The question now is whether, and when, Cameron might return to the Commons to try and gain approval for action in Syria. His tone today suggested that he himself would like to see Britain able to operate on both sides of the Iraqi Syrian border. But without Labour support, Cameron will not be able to be certain of getting that past parliament.