POLITICS

Diane Abbott Accuses Labour MPs Of Wanting To Bomb Syria To Hurt Jeremy Corbyn's Leadership

28/09/2015 18:09 BST | Updated 28/09/2015 18:59 BST
Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
Diane Abbott, Shadow International Development Secretary Diane Abgott delivers her speech during the second day of the Labour Party conference in the Brighton Centre in Brighton, Sussex.

Diane Abbott has accused Labour MPs who backed Jeremy Corbyn's rivals of plotting to vote in favour of military action against Isis in Syria in order to damage his leadership.

Speaking at a fringe event at the Labour Party conference in Brighton on Monday evening, the shadow international development secretary said "the idea you can have just a little bit of bombing is like being a little bit pregnant".

"I hear that there are Labour MPs, supporters of losing candidates, who think that by voting to support the bombing in Syria, they can strike a blow against our new leader," she said.

"And I say to them, the Labour movement will never forgive people who vote to put British troops in harms way because of internal Labour politics."

Abbott was an early supported of Corbyn's bid for the leadership of Labour. Earlier today, she told the conference from the main stage that she would be voting against any military action in Syria against Isis..

And she warned at the fringe event that military action without a wider diplomatic and political plan would lead to the UK and West putting "troops on the ground".

David Cameron is expected to soon ask parliament to approve the extension of the RAF campaign from Iraq into Syria. Corbyn has expressed deep misgivings about new military strikes. But a substantial number of his MPs want to support the prime minister. Several shadow cabinet minister are also in favour.

On Monday afternoon, Dan Jarvis called on Corbyn to grant Labour MPs a free vote on whether or not to expand strikes to Syria.

The Barnsley MP and former Army officer said Labour MPs should not be whipped into supporting one view or another.

"I think it's right that individual Labour MPs scrutinise this proposal, apply their own judgement. On a matter such a this, a matter of conscience, I think its right that every Labour MP be allowed to have their say based on their own conscience and on their own views," he said.

Abbott also said that whatever supporters of "leadership candidates who failed" said, she would be voting against the renewal of Britain's Trident nuclear weapons system.