MPs have voted overwhelmingly in favour of bombing Isis in Syria after a marathon debate in the House of Commons.
RAF air strikes could be launched within hours, the Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said as MPs backed the Government’s motion by a comfortable margin of 397 to 223 – a higher-than-expected majority of 174.
It followed more than 11 hours of debate in the House of Commons, with 157 MPs setting out their arguments for and against extending air strikes into Syria.
David Cameron’s success in winning a vote in favour of military owed largely to an estimated 60 Labour MPs rebelling against Jeremy Corbyn’s call to oppose the air strikes to back the Government’s motion.
In unprecedented scenes in the House of Commons, the Shadow Foreign Secretary received rapturous applause from MPs from across the House as he explained why he disagreed with his leader.
The speech was hailed as the “most remarkable parliamentary speeches I’ve heard” by former Tory cabinet minister Sir Alan Duncan, while even Labour MPs who voted against the motion praised him.
“I hope the House will bear with me if I direct my closing remarks to my Labour friends and colleagues on this side of the House,” he said.
“As a party we have always been defined by our internationalism. We believe we have a responsibility one to another; we never have and we never should walk by on the other side of the road.
“And we are here faced by fascists; not just their calculated brutality, but their belief they are superior to every single one of us in this chamber tonight and all of the people we represent; they hold us in contempt, they hold our values in contempt, they hold our belief in tolerance and democracy in contempt, they hold our democracy, the means by which we make our decision tonight, in contempt. What we know about fascists is that they need to be defeated.
“And it is why, as we have heard tonight, socialists and trade unionists and others joined the international brigade in the 1930s to fight against Franco; it’s why this entire House stood up against Hitler and Mussolini; it is why our party has always stood up against the denial of human rights and for justice.
“And my view, Mr Speaker, is that we must now confront this evil. It is now time for us to do our bit in Syria and that is why I ask my colleagues to vote for this motion tonight.”