Syria vote aftermath: As-it-happens

Ian Dunt By

12:32 - Ok, I'll bring this somewhat overwhelming live blog to an end now. Sorry it wasn;t very robust, I haven't really had the time to dedicate to it. Stay with Politics.co.uk this afternoon - we;ve got plenty more coverage coming down the tube for you. See you for PMQs next week.

12:03 - The BBC have filed an upsetting report documenting the aftermath of an incendiary attack on civilians. It is unsettling, but you should watch it.

11:46 - More quotes from Cameron:

I'm a democrat who believes in consulting and listening to parliament. Parliament spoke. It made a very clear view. That's right, to have a strong view, and then to listen to parliament. I'm determined as prime minister to do things a different way. I don't think it's a question of having to apologise. Politics is difficult. This is still the same British parliament which voted to take action against Gaddafi. This is a parliament which is deeply engaged in the world. We have great strengths as a country we should continue to use. [On Miliband:] It's a matter for him to defend the way he behaved and his conduct.

11:28 - Cameron has said he will cotninue to give a "robust response" to Syrian regime's use of chemical weapons, even though UK will not take military action

10:48 - Here's Miliband's advice to the government this morning:

There are other routes than military means to actually help the people of Syria. I don't think the government should wash its hands of this issue. I think all of the focus of the Prime Minister and the government in the coming days needs to be working with our allies to find other ways to press President Assad, to take action with our allies to put the diplomatic, political and other pressure that needs to be put on the government there. We need the peace talks to get going. So there are other things the government should be doing. I think this vote sends out a message to the world that Britain has learned the lessons of its past, it's learned the lessons of Iraq. There are times when we contemplate military action - and we're right to do so - but if we're ever to undertake military action, we'll do so in the right way. We'll work with other countries, we'll work through the United Nations.

10:35 - You can donate to MSF UK's Syrian appeal here.

10:32 - Germany rules out participating in a military strike on Syria.

10:31 - Caroline Lucas, for the Green party, calls for us to use the prominence of the Syrian crisis to boost humanitarian assistence to Syria.

Whatever the political significance of last night's vote, it’s vital that the focus urgently shifts now to humanitarian support for the victims of the conflict. There are millions of people who have lost their homes, or are in urgent need of medical care. We are hearing from development agencies, including Oxfam, that the situation facing refugees, in Syria and the wider region, is appalling. More than eight million people are now in desperate need of supplies. As a matter of urgency we should be increasing aid to Syria’s neighbours to help them support the families forced to seek refuge. A huge amount of political energy has been focused on getting ready for a military strike.  If even just a fraction of those resources could be directed towards this humanitarian crisis, we could do much to reduce further suffering and loss of life. Crimes against humanity and international law have been committed.  Once there is evidence of responsibility for these appalling attacks, the perpetrators must be dealt with by the International Criminal Court.

10:30 - And here's my blog, suggesting Miliband is also a loser from last night, even though it may look rather like he won. 

10:18 - French president Hollande also said the military strike could take place by Wednesday. He reiterates that Britain bowing out won't affect French intentions.

10:14 - Soprry for the slow updates - lot's to get done this morning. Here's Alex Stevenson's piece from inside the Commons chamber yesterday.

09:54 - France just announced it could go ahead with military intervention without Britain.

09:39 - And if you facy hearing me mumble on about the whole thing in ever-more excitable tones then check out this podcast of Radio 5's Morning Reports (04:20 onwards).

09:35 - And here's George Osborne, taking stock:

The shadow of Iraq pervaded the whole debate yesterday both on the media and in parliament and at times MPs on both sides of the argument actually by mistake used Saddam Hussein’s name instead of Assad’s name. So, of course, and you know, I was an MP at the time of the Iraq war and have had most of my political life under the shadow of the way that debate was conducted.

What we were trying to do yesterday, what David Cameron was trying to do was try to conduct things in a different approach, actually go to parliament, be open about trying to seek consensus and the fact we haven’t achieved a consensus is something we fully recognise. We’re not trying to make a fetish of division, as perhaps a previous prime minister did, we’re trying to say ‘look we understand, we get it, we understand the country is not with us, we respect that and as a result Britain is not going to be involved in any military action.

09:34 - And here's Paddy Ashdown, wh is being a little more biblical than usual.

09:29 - The Statesman has a list of the MPs who voted against the motion while the Guardian assessing the press reaction.

09:18 - Here's Spectator editor Fraser Nelson, who makes the rather important point that votes such as these are necessarily reflective of a lack of trust in the prime minister. And here's Mirror man Keving Maguire who is in no way enjoying it all immensly. Michael White at the Guardian outlines the history of the special relationship, under the assumption that we just witnesses a chapter break. Over at Conservative Home, as you might expect, they are trying to work out what went wrong, particularly with the whipping operation.

One [MP] told me that the first he heard of the decision to recall was a message from EasyJet offering him a flight back.  "Perhaps the Whips Office should just be franchised out to EasyJet," he told me.  Another said that he wasn't contacted by the Whips until Wednesday evening, less than 24 hours before the start of yesterday's debate.  A third said that he had a missed call from one of the Prime Minister's PPS's, but no message or text explaining it or asking him to ring back.

09:11 - First up is Telegraph blogger Dan Hodge, who says he has quit the Labour party over the vote - or more specifically Ed Miliband's party-political point-scoring. Hodge has built a career off attacking Miliband but he really goes for the jugular here. This assessment of events - that Miliband made several requests to Cameron, who accepted them and was then rebuffed anyway - is open to question. Downing Street insists Miliband U-turned late on Wednesday night. Labour says that's categorically untrue. My hunch is that Hodge is right and Miliband was motivated more by party political advantage than principle, given the limited differences between his amendment and the government motion. More on that here.

09:09 - Here's our news story from this morning. We'll have a full anatomy of what happened last night up on site soon, but for the time being I'll start bring you a selection of the best commentary from the web, before offering quotes from major political players, as they react to what's happened.

08:52 - Good morning. If you haven't watched the news recently you rather missed out I'm afraid. Last night the COmmons shot down David Cameron's (watered-down) motion for military intervention in Syria by 272 votes to 285. It is a vote which is difficult to over-hype and has far-reaching implications for Cameron's leadership, the coalition, the special relationship, Syria and Britain's constitutional arrangements. Here's the news story. Here's the quick four-point blog I wrote immediately afterwards on what it meant and here, if you've got a bit of time to stretch your legs, is our live blog from yesterday which will take you through what happened in real time.

 

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