No MP vote on Mali conflict after Islington MP forces issue

Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn

Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn - Credit: Archant

The government has admitted that MPs won’t be able to vote on British involvement in the Mali conflict, following a question raised in Parliament by Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn.

Commons leader Andrew Lansley said that while ministers would be kept informed of what’s going on, the fighting did not meet criteria set out after the 2003 Iraq War for a formal vote.

The West African country is in the midst of a bitter conflict between French-led troops and Islamist militants, who seized northern Mali last year.

Under current plans, up to 240 British troops could be involved in missions to support the Malian troops for up to 15 months.

Speaking in the Commons last week, Mr Corbyn, MP for Islington North, said: “Could you put down a voteable motion on the increasing deployment of British Armed Forces and their increasing involvement in what could be a very unpleasant, very long drawn out, almost guerrilla-like conflict, in which this country will, inevitably, be sucked in deeper and deeper.

“The precedent was set before the Iraq invasion. It is now the norm in Parliament that the significant deployment of British troops in a war requires the consent of Parliament.”

and I hope you will recognise that and the Government will table an appropriate motion that many of us can debate and express our concerns about the depth of our involvement.”

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Mr Lansley said: “I’m not sure I would take the analogy with Iraq or AfghanistanI think it would be much more the analogy with the situation in Somalia.