Senior Tories last night accused Labour leader Ed Miliband of emboldening Vladimir Putin by voting down military intervention in Syria last summer.
The House of Commons voted against authorising military strikes against the Assad regime, after backbench Conservatives joined with Labour in voting down a government motion.
It was the most severe defeat of David Cameron’s premiership.
Last night Treasury minister Sajid Javid tweeted:
– Sajid Javid MP (@sajidjavid) March 1, 2014
While planning minister Nick Boles added:
PM was right to urge Parliament to stand up to Putin and punish Assad’s use of chemical weapons. Look where Miliband’s weakness has led us.
– Nick Boles (@NickBolesMP) March 1, 2014
Penny Mordaunt, PPS to Defence Secretary Philip Hammond, also tweeted that the vote will have emboldened Russia to invade the Crimea, saying: “the Parliamentary car crash that was the Syria vote won’t have helped.”
David Cameron led calls for military intervention in Syria after Assad was accused of using chemical weapons in the ongoing civil war. He was, however, defeated in the vote that would have authorised such intervention.
Some Conservatives accuse Ed Miliband of privately suggesting that he would whip Labour MPs into voting for intervention, only to change his mind just before the vote, thus luring the Government into a false sense of security. Several senior Conservatives were not present at the vote.
Syria’s President Assad has managed to cling to power despite his country being ravaged by civil war for the past three years. He is a close ally of Vladimir Putin.