Labour Party leader Ed Miliband has finally commented on the situation in Iraq and Syria, saying that Britain “cannot ignore Isis or simply shrug our shoulders and hope it goes away.”
Writing for the Independent, Mr Miliband called for a political and diplomatic campaign at home and abroad, although remains vague on whether he will support British military action.
In Britain, Miliband says that the government needs to introduce a “mandatory programme of deradicalisation for anyone who is drawn into the fringes of extremism in Syria and Iraq”, while also calling for “clarity about our objectives and the means to achieve them.”
He also adds: “In the face of this danger I am clear we cannot… simply shrug our shoulders and hope it goes away.”
Despite this, he refused to go into specifics about Britain’s role in Iraq. While ruling out British “boots on the ground” and saying that Labour supports US airstrikes against ISIS, he did not comment on whether he would support British airstrikes.
Last year, Labour helped scupper British plans for airstrikes against Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad by opposing military action in parliament. The House of Commons subsequently voted down the proposals by 285 votes to 272.
In making these comments, Mr Miliband becomes the last party leader to comment on the ongoing ISIS campaign this summer. In June, Prime Minister David Cameron said that ISIS militants pose a direct threat to the UK, while three days ago, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said that British Muslims should do more stop young people becoming radicalised.
Meanwhile, UKIP leader Nigel Farage called for a change in the law to remove the citizenship of British people who travel to fight with ISIS in Syria and Iraq to stop them coming back and spreading terror at home.