THERESA MAY’S diligence over her Parliamentary duties has been a redeeming feature after she was criticised by Labour – and others – for not seeking the prior approval of MPs before authorising the RAF to join France and America in targeted airstrikes against the Syrian regime.
In doing so, she’s convinced politicians like William Hague, a former Foreign Secretary, that the Prime Minister should retain the prerogative to authorise military action without Parliament’s consent, not least to protect the operational security of the Armed Forces.
Mrs May’s standing in Parliament appears enhanced. Her statement on Monday, setting out the humanitarian and legal case for intervention, was followed by three hours of questions by MPs that were answered respectfully.
She then remained in the Commons for Labour MP Alison McGovern’s three- hour debate on the plight of Syrian refugees, before winding up on behalf of the Government at 10.50pm and responding to the more valid points made by backbenchers.
She also led the Government’s response to yesterday’s separate debate in which Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called for a War Powers Act to limit the powers of Prime Ministers.
Mrs May’s example stands in contrast to the total confusion that existed over Parliamentary procedures – Commons leader Andrea Leadsom and Speaker John Bercow both appeared clueless – and then the confusion which ensued when Mr Corbyn tried and failed to persuade MPs to vote against his own motion which stated that MPs had considered their rights in relation to the approval of military action by British forces overseas.
What a farce. Evidently, he wanted to make a symbolic point but, in doing so, Mr Corbyn helped Mrs May to justify her actions and demonstrate why prime ministers should retain the right to act in the national interest when necessary.