There has been so much ill- informed and viciously spun comment on Ed Miliband’s position on Syria.
We publish below his statement to Labour Party members.
‘Like everyone, I have been horrified by the pictures of men, women and children gasping for breath in Syria. In Parliament just now, I laid out my plan for how Britain should respond.
My position is clear: any action that our country supports must be legal, legitimate and effective. Our country must not make the same mistakes that happened ten years ago.
Our desperate desire to help stop this suffering in Syria must not lead us to rushed or wrong decisions.
You can see my full roadmap for action in Syria by watching my speech to Parliament:
If we are to ask yet more of the most exceptional of our country’s men and women — those in our forces — it must be on the basis of a decision that has complete moral authority.
Here are the five steps we must take before coming to such a decision:
1) We must let the UN weapons inspectors do their work and report to the UN Security Council;
2) There must be compelling and internationally-recognised evidence that the Syrian regime was responsible for the chemical weapons attacks;
3) The UN Security Council should debate and vote on the weapons inspectors’ findings and other evidence. This is the highest forum of the world’s most important multilateral body and we must take it seriously;
4) There should be a clear legal basis in international law for taking military action to protect the Syrian people;
5) Any military action must be time limited, it must have precise and achievable objectives and it must have regard for the consequences of the future impact on the region.
I will use the full force of my position as leader of the Labour Party to ensure that Britain works fully with international institutions when we respond to outrages like those we have seen in Syria.
We must work together for a world in which there is peace and security for all people, and we must also acknowledge that stability will not and cannot be achieved by military means alone.’