29 Aug 2013

Labour meet to discuss Syria crisis

The Shadow Cabinet is meeting now, the PLP at lunchtime, and Ed Miliband can expect a hero’s welcome from many MPs.

But they all know it so nearly wasn’t like this. Mr Miliband shifted gears on Wednesday under pressure from his own side.

The Labour Party Annual Conference Begins In Manchester

His initial stance, sounding very much like he’d be supporting the attacks on Syria, turned into an amendment that puts significant hurdles ahead of military action.

He had been, in the view of some Labour MPs, too busy atoning for his summer when a lot of the Labour Party wanted to hear more atonement for Iraq.

One shadow cabinet member said it was now very questionable whether Labour could ever support action against Syria.

On Thursday night, the party will vote for its own amendment and not support the government motion.

Mr Miliband this morning giving a short interview looked like a man who’d been through the mangler, but one long-standing supporter insists the leader’s ended up with a position that’s much more true to himself and with which Mr Miliband is instinctively more comfortable.

One MP said the saddest face on Labour’s frontbench could be Diane Abbott’s. Colleagues accuse of her choreographing a dramatic resignation over Syria to launch her bid for the London mayoral candidacy… only to find the party has shuffled closer to her position.

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