POLITICS

Commons People Politics Podcast: Bombing Syria, Jeremy Corbyn's Party Strife and Ken Livingstone's Mental Illness Slur

19/11/2015 15:43 GMT | Updated 19/11/2015 15:59 GMT

This week's Commons People podcast sees the Huffington Post UK's politics team discuss UK military action in Syria, another difficult week for Jeremy Corbyn and Ken Livingstone's mental illness slur.

It was a week in which last Friday's tragic events in Paris cast a long shadow.

David Cameron made it clear he would not be constrained by the United Nations when it comes to involving the UK military in airstrikes against Isis/Daesh in Syria. However, he will need Parliament's approval before extending operations.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is going to take some persuading that extending the bombing from Iraq into Syria is the right course of action, and would be looking for UN approval before considering giving it the nod.

Shadow Justice Secretary Lord Falconer indicated on Sunday he could back "nations coming together" without UN approval to defeat Isis, while frontbencher Pat McFadden said he would "see what the proposition is".

Mr Corbyn caused a degree of controversy when he said he was "not happy" with the 'shoot-to-kill' policy adopted by armed police when confronted with terrorists.

He backtracked later in the week, but not before he faced a grilling from Labour MPs over his comments, as well as his his stance on the legality of the killing of Mohammed Emwazi, Syria and his long-standing support for the Stop the War Coalition.

Wednesday provided no relief for Labour, as former London Mayor Ken Livingstone initially refused to apologise for telling a shadow minister he ‘might need some psychiatric help’.

Kevan Jones queried why Mr Livingstone had been chosen to co-chair Labour's defence policy review, prompting the unsavoury comments from the former Mayor.

Mr Jones has been open about his battles with depression, but it was only when Mr Corbyn intervened that Mr Livingstone apologised.

Next week sees George Osborne's Autumn Statement, in which the Chancellor will finally reveal how he's going to deal with the tax credit cuts debacle. He is also expected to set out cuts to government departments which could impact on police funding.

And this week's quiz is about referendums, inspired by the news that in the US state of Maine there was a vote on whether to ban the use of jelly donuts and pizza to bait bears.

The ban was defeated.