Diane Abbott refuses to admit if Labour would back military action in Syria

Diane Abbott today refused to say if Labour would back military strikes on Bashar Assad’s regime, even if independent inspectors find that it was behind the latest chemical weapons attack.

Pressed on this by BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, the shadow home secretary said: “Let’s see what the inspectors come up with.” 

Labour has called for a United Nations-led investigation into the Douma atrocity, but Russia has vetoed such inquiries in the past.

Asked by presenter Nick Robinson why there had not been such probes, Ms Abbott said: “We have to go forward on the basis of the facts and the evidence.”

Mr Robinson said:  “You are calling for something that has not happened for eight years, so why has it not happened?” She replied: “We think it should happen.” 

When he asked: “Why has it not happened?” she said: “You would have to ask the UN…  but we think it should happen.”

She said at this point Russia “is a greater threat to world peace than the United States”, but added that it would be “outrageous” if the Commons was not allowed to vote over military action in Syria.

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