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Francois Hollande urges MPs to back Syria air strikes

Published 27/11/2015

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is struggling to contain a shadow cabinet revolt over air strikes against IS in Syria
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is struggling to contain a shadow cabinet revolt over air strikes against IS in Syria

Francois Hollande has called on MPs to back military intervention in Syria in the wake of the Paris attacks that left 130 dead.

The French President thanked Britain for the support it has shown his country following the atrocity and said he hoped that Parliament would now back the case for air strikes put forward by David Cameron.

He told a press conference at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (Chogm) in Malta: "I do hope that the House of Commons will be able to meet the request of Prime Minister Cameron."

The socialist president's comments will be seen as a major appeal to Labour MPs wavering over whether to back action to defeat Islamic State in Syria.

Mr Hollande, who this morning met families of the victims in Paris, told reporters that the terror attacks showed "man is the worst enemy of man".

His intervention comes one day after the Prime Minister set out his case for airstrikes to MPs, warning them that Britain is at risk of attack and insisting the military operations to defeat IS cannot be left to other countries.

But the prospect of a vote has plunged Labour into chaos as shadow cabinet ministers clashed with leader Jeremy Corbyn after he ruled out supporting action.

Earlier, Mr Cameron urged Labour MPs to back military intervention in Syria, telling them to "vote on the basis of the arguments".

The Prime Minister said there was a "compelling" case for airstrikes and insisted MPs would allow the country to do the "right thing" if they supported them.

He said: "I believe there is a compelling case to take the effective action to keep our country safe.

"I thought many Members of Parliament on all sides of the House of Commons yesterday agreed there was a compelling case, so I would urge all of them to vote on the basis of the arguments for effective action on a compelling case to keep our country safe.

"Vote on those arguments and we can do the right thing."

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