UK's position diminished: Ashdown
Britain's position in the world has been hugely diminished by the vote against military action in Syria, former Liberal Democrat leader Lord Ashdown said as he accused MPs of playing into the regime's hands.
The ex-special forces soldier said he felt depressed and ashamed that Britain was not to join military action despite the "utterly compelling" evidence Bashar Assad had gassed his own people.
Lord Ashdown, who served as High Representative for Bosnia after long advocating military action in the region, wrote on Twitter: "In 50 years trying to serve my country I have never felt so depressed/ashamed. Britain's answer to the Syrian horrors? None of our business!"
He told the BBC: "Maybe I am just an old war horse from the past but I think it has a profound implication for our country. I think it diminishes our country hugely. We now have a bunch of people - the same ones who voted against this last night - who want to get out of Europe and have smashed our relationship with the United States.
"There were lots of MPs, chiefly Labour ones but Tories too, who were cheering last night. We should all understand who is cheering this morning: president Assad is cheering; president Putin is cheering; I suspect (Ukip leader) Mr Nigel Farage is cheering as he sees this country teetering on the edge of isolationism.
"Do I think that is good for our country? No I don't. Do I honour the vote in the House of Commons? Of course I do, I'm a democrat.
"But I'm entitled to say, I think, having spent 50 years trying to serve this country in one form or another at home and abroad, to see my country draw back from a coalition in favour of international law and decide that the answer is to stand aside does not fill me with great joy.
"Now I'm forced to look at those images of burning schoolchildren ... and say my country's reaction to this is nothing to do with me."