Thousands of people gathered in Parliament Square to call on MPs to oppose extending airstrikes against ISIS into Syria
Anti-war protesters came to deliver a symbolic message to MPs debating airstrikes on Syria by lying down to “die” in Parliament Square.
Meanwhile inside, as the Syria debate reaches its climax, the Commons chamber has started to fill up.
The voting is due to start at around 10.20 pm GMT
The Guardian reports:
While speaker after speaker lambasted David Cameron, the role of pantomine villain was reserved for Labour’s shadow foreign secretary, Hilary Benn, who was booed and hissed.
To cheers from protesters, the Stop the War Coalition chairman, Andrew Murray, said the MPs from Labour and other parties who supported the government should be “branded with infamy for the rest of their political careers”.
Also singled out – by the former Labour and Respect MP George Galloway – was the Walthamstow Labour MP Stella Creasy, who had tweeted earlier in the day about her staff being on the receiving end of abuse by individuals seeking to lobby her over her undecided stance on the airstrikes.
A “few angry emails” would be nothing compared to the suffering of the Syrian people as a result of military action, said Galloway.
Lindsey German, the convener of the Stop the War Coalition, said: “I believe that those Labour MPs are acting against the interests of their constituents and their members. I would say to them: ‘Think again and go into the lobbies to vote no. The war and its consequences will be on your consciences. You will not be able to escape the consequences of this war’.”
Despite some expectations, the protest was not addressed by Jeremy Corbyn, the former chair of the Stop the War Coalition, although the young SNP MP Mhairi Black did come out to tell the gathering they were being heard inside parliament.
Other speakers included Peter Brierley, whose son L/Cpl Shaun Brierley died in the Iraq war.
“We are coming up to Christmas. We are going to have packed shopping malls and little children going out on to the streets,” said Brierley, warning of the possibility of a terrorist attack on the UK in retaliation for airstrikes.