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     MPs demand Lebanon debate  <<back  next>>

Anger at the government's policy towards the Middle East has prompted more than 100, mostly Labour, MPs to demand a recall of parliament.

In a letter to Commons leader Jack Straw, backbenchers say they need to debate the UK's attitude to the conflict involving Lebanon and Israel as a matter of urgency.

Speaking to the Guardian, Jon Trickett, chairman of the Compass group of 50 leftwing MPs and a force behind the appeal, said: "In this crisis, parliament needs to speak for the nation.

"We are living in a 24/7 society, yet our parliament seems so ossified that it goes into recess for 11 weeks and there seems no way for backbenchers to bring MPs back."

The Speaker will take the decision, on the recommendation of the government.

Downing Street has indicated that it does not believe there is a need for a recall but cabinet sources acknowledged to the paper that if the moves towards a UN resolution collapses, that could change.

Negotiations on a resolution appear to have stalled in New York despite Tony Blair saying he believed a compromise could be found.

After delaying his holiday in Barbados to help broker a deal, the prime minister has now began his break but insists he remains in touch with world leaders to monitor the situation and assist.

9 August 2006

 Last updated: 09/08/2006 09:37:00



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