Michael Gove Attacks Labour For 'Celebrating As Children Were Killed In Syria'

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MICHAEL GOVE
PA

Michael Gove has accused some Labour MPs of behaving as though they were at a "football match" following last week's vote in the House of Commons on Syria.

The education secretary admitted he had become "heated" after the government's dramatic defeat over British involvement in military action in Syria but refused to say whether he believed parliament should now revisit the issue.

"I did become heated last week, that is absolutely right," he told BBC Breakfast. "At the moment that the government lost the vote on the motion, there were Labour MPs cheering as though it were a sort of football match and they had just won.

"At the same time on the news, we were hearing about an attack on a school in Syria and the death toll there rising - and the incongruity of Labour MPs celebrating as children had been killed by a ruthless dictator, I am afraid got to me and I did feel incredibly emotional. I do feel emotional about this subject.

"The prime minister explained about the vote and that is all I want to say."

Asked again about whether he believes the House of Commons should revisit the subject, Gove repeated: "That is all I want to say."

Michael Dugher said Gove's comments were "puerile, stupid and grossly offensive". The vice-chair of the Labour Party said it was "a desperate, low and partisan attack that demeans his office".

David Cameron ruled out UK involvement in military action against Syria on Thursday after his authority and international standing were dealt a severe blow by defeat on the issue.

In a highly-unusual reverse over such an important matter of foreign policy, 30 Tory rebels as well as nine Liberal Democrats joined with Labour to inflict a humiliating defeat on the Prime Minister.

A motion backing the use of force ''if necessary'' in response to last week's deadly chemical weapons attack was rejected by 272 votes to 285, majority 13.

Shadow defence secretary Jim Murphy admitted on Sunday to having used ''industrial language" that his priest ''wouldn't be proud of'' after admonishing Gove in the House of Commons following the vote.

Gove shouted ''disgrace, you're a disgrace'' at Conservative and Liberal Democrat rebels following the vote, the Scottish National Party's Westminster leader Angus Robertson told Sky News last week.

Cameron yesterday firmly rejected pressure to go back to Parliament for a second vote.

International aid to Syrians uprooted by civil war is a "drop in the sea" of what is needed, a top U.N. official said Monday, estimating that five million Syrians have been displaced inside the country.

In addition, 2 million Syrians have fled to neighbouring countries, according to UN figures. The total, of about 7 million, amounts to nearly one-third of Syria's population.

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