Britain’s Labour Party leader to give MPs free vote on Syria airstrikes

London, Dec 1 (IANS) Britain’s Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn is set to give his members of parliament (MPs) a free vote on airstrikes against Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria.

A free vote means Labour Party MPs can decide according to their own judgment, regardless of their party leader’s preferences, Xinhua quoted British media as saying on Monday.

The Labour Party, the country’s largest opposition party, is still split over British military involvement in Syria. Corbyn is against extending British airstrikes to Syria, while some senior members in his shadow cabinet back the military intervention.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister David Cameron has been urging lawmakers to support his proposal of taking military action in Syria. He said he would not call a vote in the House of Commons unless he was confident of winning it.

On Monday, Corbyn wrote to the prime minister, asking for a two-day debate on any proposal the government might bring forward.

“In the view of the opposition, on a matter of such critical importance, there must be full and adequate time for any debate in the House and only a full two-day debate would ensure time for all members who wish to participate to be able to do so,” he said.

The Labour Party released a survey on Monday which showed that 75 percent of its party members were against military action in Syria.

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