Why it now looks almost certain that the UK will start bombing in Syria

Evan Bartlett@ev_bartlett
Sunday 22 November 2015 17:30

It is now looking increasingly likely that the RAF will be given the go ahead to conduct air strikes in Syria after Labour's shadow chancellor hinted that his party will not force the party's MPs to vote against them in the Commons.

Speaking on the Andrew Marr Show on Sunday morning, John McDonnell (pictured below) appeared to suggest that Labour MPs would be free to vote with their conscience despite leader Jeremy Corbyn previously hinting that party members would be forced to toe the party line and oppose them.

My view has always been I think that Parliament should act as Parliament, not on a party political basis and we should arrive at a view which is in the best interests of the country.

  • John McDonnell

Appetite for bombing Isis targets in the war-torn nation has increased in the past week or so since the terrorist attacks which hit Beirut, Baghdad and killed 130 people in Paris.

Picture: PA

A poll by YouGov shows that 58 per cent of Britons now approve of air strikes in Syria, while 43 per cent of people would like to see British and US "boots on the ground".

David Cameron is expected to lay out a "comprehensive strategy" within the next few days which could see British jets undertaking bombing missions in the country before Christmas.

It had been reported that up to 60 Labour MPs were ready to back the government's line and rebel against their leader - but after a tumultuous week for Corbyn, it now appears his stance may have softened.

After saying that he opposed the police tactic of "shoot to kill" in terror situations, the Labour leader's popularity dropped by two points.

More: Only one politician is less popular in Britain than Jeremy Corbyn