Today it was announced that he has decided MPs should have a free vote on the issue – which is consistent with his democratic principles.
He has now written to David Cameron about debate arrangements for Syria motion, asking for information about its timing and insisting that on a matter of such critical importance there must be full and adequate time for any debate in the House – a full two day debate would ensure time for all Members who wish to participate to be able to do so:
“It is incumbent on us all to ensure the country feels there has been the fullest parliamentary discussion of what you have rightly described as a highly complex situation. In addition the debate would be much better informed by views from the Foreign Affairs and Defence Select Committees following your recent statements”
“Labour have called on the Government to grant Parliament two days to debate airstrikes on Syria – an eminently sensible idea . . . A decision to go to war is a matter of life and death. It must be undertaken on basis of best informed and carefully considered debate . . . The Government should now accept the proposal for a further day’s debate and make arrangements accordingly”.
Selly Oak MP Steve McCabe is also consulting constituents. In his message he says that he has been thinking about the proposal to bomb Syria very seriously and his decision won’t be influenced by some narrow Labour Party dispute, but about “how best to deal with a serious security issue that won’t just go away”.