U.K. Labour Shadow Cabinet to Give Lawmakers Free Vote on Syria

Lawmakers from Britain’s main opposition Labour Party will be allowed to make up their own mind in a parliamentary vote on whether to carry out airstrikes against Islamic State in Syria, the party’s team of senior parliamentary spokesmen decided.

Labour is split on whether to support military action, so the move may pave the way for Prime Minister David Cameron to call the House of Commons vote as early as this week. He’s said he won’t do so unless he’s assured of sufficient parliamentary support.

The shadow cabinet, headed by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, met for about two hours in London Monday to work out a compromise position on the airstrikes vote.

“Today’s shadow cabinet agreed to back Jeremy Corbyn’s recommendation of a free vote on the government’s proposal to authorize U.K. bombing in Syria,” Labour said in an e-mailed statement. “The shadow cabinet decided to support the call for David Cameron to step back from the rush to war and hold a full two-day debate in the House of Commons on such a crucial national decision.”

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