Anti-war protesters gathered outside Parliament and Labour Party headquarters this evening as the House of Commons prepares to debate whether Britain should launch airstrikes against Islamic State in Syria.
Protesters filled Parliament Square beneath Big Ben, waving banners and chanting slogans against extending the war against IS.
Addressing the crowd, Green Party leader Caroline Lucas said that Islamic State can be stopped, but “bombing doesn’t work”.
A group of protesters also gathered outside the headquarters of the Labour Party after leader Jeremy Corbyn caved to pressure from colleagues and allowed his MPs a free vote on whether to support airstrikes in Syria. He personally opposes the vote and had previously indicated he would whip Labour MPs to support his view.
Around 50 Labour MPs are expected to vote against their leader, though, meaning that victory for the government is all but assured.
The British government has been considering holding the vote since May’s General Election, but the murder of 130 people in Paris by Islamic State terrorists last month hastened their decision, with some MPs who were previously sceptical now supporting the strikes.