POLITICS

Commons People Politics Podcast: Hilary Benn, Syria Bombing and Labour Deselection Fears

03/12/2015 15:26 GMT | Updated 29/01/2016 12:59 GMT

Extending UK bombing raids against so-called IS into Syria was the top story of the political week, with MPs backing the action in a late-night Commons vote yesterday.

Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn received plaudits for his passionate speech in favour of the action against Daesh, in which he called on Labour colleagues to “confront this evil.”

Other Labour grandees, including Dame Margaret Beckett and former Home Secretary Alan Johnson, also urged for MPs to support the Government’s motion.

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Some of the most articulate and impassioned speeches against bombing in Syria came from Conservative MPs.

Dr Julian Lewis, chairman of the Defence Select Committee, poured scorn on claims there are 70,000 moderate fighters in Syria who would turn in Daesh.

Comparing it to the intelligence provided ahead of the 2003 Iraq War, Dr Lewis said: "Instead of having dodgy dossiers, we now have bogus battalions of moderate fighters."

The political fall-out from the vote, in which 66 Labour MPs supported military action despite leader Jeremy Corbyn asking them to “think again”, is already being felt.

This morning, former London Mayor Ken Livingstone said Labour MPs who voted in favour of airstrikes should be prepared to be deselected as candidates for the next election.