Cameron accuses Miliband of “buggering around” on Syria vote
Labour leader Ed Miliband has been accused of “buggering around” by Downing Street regarding the ongoing conflict in Syria.
No 10 criticised Miliband for “playing politics” with one source claiming that the opposition leader is “not credible or serious” after repeatedly changing his position on Syria during numerous talks with PM David Cameron.
“To spend the entire time buggering around moving the goalposts is hard to see as anything other than playing politics,” said the source.
In response, Labour has placed the blame on Cameron for the government’s defeat this past Thursday, when the commons voted 272 to 285 against a military strike on Syria. A Labour source, close to Miliband, said it was the prime minister’s “character failings” and “Flashman” style that proved the Conservative party’s undoing.
“His approach had all the subtlety of Flashman,” said one Labour source. “It was the character of David Cameron – his stubbornness, his anger and his rush towards war – which was the central cause of his defeat on Thursday night.”
The Guardian reports that No 10’s remarks against Miliband may be a strategic attempt authorised by Cameron to portray the Labour leader as weak and deflect some of the damage done to the PM before the new parliamentary term begins tomorrow, and leading into the meeting of G20 leaders this Thursday in Russia.
Cameron will meet with President Obama during the G20 and is expected to hold a bilateral meeting to discuss the situation in Syria.
The prime minister has come out in support of Obama’s position to ask Congress to vote on military action, with the British PM yesterday tweeting, “I understand and support Barack Obama’s position on #Syria.”
Meanwhile Tony Blair has backed the government’s position for military intervention in an article published in the Sunday Times newspaper. The former PM wrote: “It is crucial to take sides” in the Syrian crisis, for, “if Syria goes into the abyss, the consequences will not stop in Syria.”
“Intervention can be uncertain, expensive and bloody. But history has taught us that inaction can merely postpone the reckoning,” Blair wrote. “We haven’t paid the bill for Syria yet. But we will.”
Blair’s involvement in the 2003 invasion of Iraq has been widely cited as the reason for the commons’ vote against a military strike in Syria.