THE RAF is preparing for air strikes against Islamic State as MP votes look set to stack up in the Government’s favour.
Dozens of Labour members, including those in Yorkshire, are backing David Cameron’s plan to extend their bombing campaign to the terrorist group into Syria.
While it's expected the Government will get a majority from their own party, the numbers from Labour are adding up to give the Prime Minister more certainty as an 11 hour debate gets underway in the House of Commons.
In anticipation of a vote in favour of strikes the RAF were on a training exercise yesterday at an airbase in the South of England and jets at RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland are on standby to fly to Akrotiri base in Cyprus.
The Yorkshire Post understands that eight Labour MPs in the region including senior members of the shadow cabinet are either committed to or minded to vote with Mr Cameron, putting them at odds with Labour leader Mr Corbyn.
A Labour spokesperson said it was 'expected' that the Prime Minister would win the vote.
Mr Corbyn described those voting with the Government as ‘die-hard’ supporters of the war.
He said: “I appeal to them to think again. Think of the implications and complications of what we are doing and please cast your vote against supporting this Government’s military endevours in Syria.”
Just a handful of Conservative rebels who voted against bombing strikes on the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in 2013, are understood to remain.
However Haltemprice and Howden MP David Davis, a former shadow Home Secretary, remains firm in his belief that military action will not pave the way for a much-needed political solution.
Shadow cabinet members including shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn, shadow Culture Secretary Michael Dugher, and former Labour front-benchers Yvette Cooper, Alan Johnson, Mary Creagh and Dan Jarvis are all backing the aerial bombardment of IS.
Mr Jarvis, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan as part of the Parachute Regiment, described Isis as the ‘fascists of our time’.
Don Valley MP Caroline Flint, Labour’s former Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, is close to voting in favour but will listen to today’s debate. Penistone and Stocksbridge MP Angela Smith is also minded to support military action.
Wakefield MP Ms Creagh told the Yorkshire Post: “I think it’s one of the most important decisions that an MP can make and not one that I’ve taken lightly. I think there is a clear threat to British people at home and abroad as we have seen in Tunisia.”
She said it was right for Britain to ‘heed the call’ of France and the US, who she describes as the country’s closest ally.
Conservative MP for Morley and Outwood, Andrea Jenkyns, narrowly escaped the 2005 Bali bombing during a holiday, and said she had seen first-hand the impact of terrorism and will vote with the Government.
She said: “We cannot, however, defeat Isil without first degrading and destroying their capability to organise as a militia in the Middle East. Isil is not going to negotiate, as some have suggested we should do. Isil’s only goal is to create an Islamic caliphate based on their own warped view of what Islam is and should be.”
Conservative MP for York Outer Julian Sturdy said the country couldn’t stand ‘idly by’ and risk Isil strengthening their base.
The Prime Minister’s motion states that military action would not involve British troops on the ground.