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Live Reporting

By Pippa Simm, Esther Webber and Alison Daye

All times stated are UK

  1. Goodbye

    That wraps up our live page for today.

    MPs have voted to back British participation in air strikes against Islamic State extremists in Iraq.

    After a seven-hour debate, MPs voted for military action by 524 votes to 43.

    The Conservatives, Lib Dems and Labour leaderships all backed air strikes although some MPs expressed concerns about where it would lead and the prospect of future engagement in Syria.

    You can find out more about the conflict in Iraq and the Islamic State here.

  2. BBC's Norman Smith


    BBC's Norman Smith tweets: It's been confirmed that Labour MP Ian McKenzie - aide to shadow defence secretary - has been sacked for not backing air strikes in #iraq

  3. Analysis

    Nick Robinson

    Political editor

    RAF strikes against IS forces in Iraq are likely to begin this weekend. In theory, they could begin as early as this evening but Saturday night looks more likely if military action is to be avoided on the Muslim holy day.

    David Cameron has said this action will be characterised more by "patience and persistence" than "shock and awe". I understand that he is signalling that early strikes may not be followed by daily sorties.

    The attacks will not be focussed on the fixed targets of a state - military bases, airfields, bridges etc - but, instead, on the moving targets of a "rebel" force making military advances.

  4. No 'shock and awe'

    Defence Secretary Michael Fallon tells BBC News people should not expect "immediate shock and awe" as he plays down the prospect of imminent air strikes.

    He stresses that it is going to be a "long campaign", and says it is important that parliament has given its authority for action. The defence secretary says the government would come back to the Commons to seek support for extending air strikes into Syria, if necessary - but stresses that the government does reserve the right to authorise urgent action in an emergency situation.

    Defence Secretary Michael Fallon
  5. Ben Rhodes


    Ben Rhodes, the White House's deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, tweets: US is proud to have the United Kingdom, Denmark and Belgium joining a growing coalition taking action against ISIL.

  6. Post update

    Pancha Chandra in Belgium:

    Vital parliamentary support from British MPs has tipped the balance in favour of a solid front against ISIS. This is a tactical live chess game where murderous extremists are hounding innocent men, women and children. However, superior air power is not sufficient; ground troops are necessary to rout the merciless ISIS terrorists.

  7. Labour figures

    BBC's Norman Smith adds that Labour sources say about 24 of their MPs voted against air strikes.

  8. Unease?

    The BBC's assistant political editor Norman Smith says it looks as though there were a significant number of abstentions in the vote, suggesting "a lot of unease" among MPs.

  9. Mark Reckless


    One of the Conservative rebels, Mark Reckless, tweets: I voted against bombing ISIL in Iraq. A year ago we were asked to bomb other side in Syria +what good did 557 MPs voting to attack Libya do?

  10. Sam Macrory


    Editor of Total Politics magazine Sam Macrory tweets: A bad week gets worse for Ed as frontbencher Rushanara Ali quits the front bench over Iraq vote. Tory conference can't come quickly enough.

  11. Julian Huppert


    Lib Dem MP Julian Huppert ‏tweets: Military Intervention in Iraq approved by 524-43. Even though I voted against, I hope it will work out better than I fear! #fb

  12. 'Right thing'

    However, Conservative MP Dominic Grieve, the government's former attorney general, maintains that the Commons has "done the right thing".

  13. Action 'disastrous'

    Speaking after the vote, Labour MP John McDonnell - who voted against the motion - says military action in Iraq will be disastrous, blaming previous interventions in the country for the "rise of Isil".

  14. Vote against

    Conservative John Baron, speaking to BBC News, says he voted against action because "key questions" remain unanswered. He claims there is no co-ordinated plan, and adds that "kicking the door down and walking away is not the right policy".

  15. Military action

    Following the vote in favour of UK air strikes against IS in Iraq, the BBC's political editor Nick Robinson said RAF planes could be called into action as early as Sunday.

  16. Labour resignation

    Rushanara Ali has resigned as Labour's shadow education spokesman so that she could abstain over the Iraq vote. She is the MP for Bethnal Green and Bow.

  17. Majority in favour

    MPs voted by a majority of 481 in favour of government plans to join air strikes against Islamic State (IS) in Iraq, following a six-hour debate in an emergency recall of Parliament.

    Tellers announce the result of the vote
  18. Post update

    Mark D'Arcy

    Parliamentary correspondent

    tweets: Point of order from John McDonnell - can the Speaker recall Parliament if further military action likely; answer, No. He has no such power

  19. Vote procedure

    In any Commons vote, there must be four so-called tellers, who count the votes during a division and then announce the result.

    The Speaker will then repeat the result to the House. Today, the tellers for the 'ayes' (ie those in support of the motion) were Liberal Democrat MP Mark Hunter and the Conservatives' Gavin Barwell, and for the 'noes' (ie those opposing the motion) it was Labour backbencher Jeremy Corbyn and the SNP's Pete Wishart.

  20. BreakingBreaking News

    The government wins the vote by 524 to 43 - a majority of 481, the Speaker announces.

  21. Post update

    Alexander Marquardt, ABC News Correspondent

    tweets: Kurdish commander in Kobane/Ayn al-Arab tells @ABC heavy fighting w/ #ISIS is 10km to the south, 6km to the east. #Syria

  22. What MPs are voting on

    A reminder what it is that MPs are voting on at the moment.

    The motion condemns the "barbaric acts" by Islamic State militants and acknowledges the specific request by Iraq for military assistance "and the clear legal basis that this provides for action in Iraq".

    It does not authorise action in Syria, and states that this would need a separate vote in Parliament.

  23. Post update

    House of Commons

    tweets: Debate on the #Iraq: coalition against #ISIL motion has now ended. The House has divided. Results of the division will be announced shortly.

  24. Debate concluded

    The Speaker puts the question to the House that the motion be passed, prompting shouts of "Aye" and "No" from the green benches - which forces a division.

    Typically votes in the Commons take about 15 minutes, as MPs have to file one-by-one through either the Yes or No lobbies to register their vote. MPs can be seen getting ready to vote in the picture below.

    A wide shot of MPs starting to vote
  25. BBC's Allegra Stratton


    Allegra Stratton tweets: Just bumped into Labour rebel. They think Lab supporting Iraq vote could cause trouble for any core vote / Lib Dem defection strategy.

  26. Conclusion of debate

    Concluding his remarks and appealing for MPs to support the motion, Mr Clegg says: "We must act, we do so mindful of the mistakes and lessons of the past, but we do so with lawful authority, with clear objectives and with the support and active participation of a broad coalition of international opinion which is saying to Isil 'enough is enough'."

  27. Questions about options

    Green MP Caroline Lucas questions whether all political and diplomatic measures have been properly pursued before going down the route of military action. Mr Clegg responds by saying there are times when it is "simply impossible to reason with your foe", adding that there is no diplomatic initiative which would be recognised by the "barbaric and murderous" IS.

  28. Post update

    Nick Robinson

    Political editor

    tweets: "All assets are available" - @nick_clegg tells MPs Tomahawk cruise missiles could be used against IS in Iraq as well as RAF

  29. Working in region

    The deputy PM emphasises the differences between Iraq and Syria - and stresses that although the motion does not authorise air strikes in Syria this does not mean the UK is "inactive".

    He says the UK will work with other countries to create the conditions in which good governance can take root in the region, quoting UN General Secretary Ban Ki Moon as saying bombs can kill terrorists but good governance can kill terrorism.

  30. Paralysed by the past?

    Mr Clegg defends the prime minister's earlier remarks that the government reserves the right to act without prior parliamentary approval if events demand it, following an intervention from Labour backbencher John McDonnell.

    He goes on to say that while the mistakes of the past should be avoided "we should not be paralysed by it". The Lib Dem leader says that all those who campaigned against the 2003 "attack" on Iraq should not hesitate to act to "defend" Iraq upon its request.

  31. Government response

    It is left to Lib Dem Deputy PM Nick Clegg to respond to and wrap up the debate on behalf of the government.

    Nick Clegg
  32. Opposition support

    Air strikes are essential to stem IS's advance and degrade their operations. But this objective "must be in the service of creating conditions for new forms of governance in Sunni parts of Iraq", he says. He finishes by restating the opposition's support for the motion.

    Douglas Alexander
  33. What are MPs voting on?

    The motion does not authorise bombing IS in Syria - and states that a separate vote would be required from Parliament to carry this out.

    The shadow foreign secretary clarifies for the House that Labour has not made a UN Security Council resolution a condition for authorising action in Syria. But he says there are questions around the legality of UK air strikes in Syria.

  34. Closing remarks

    We're on to the wind up speeches now, starting with the opposition front bench. Shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander says Labour is content that the action being proposed is legal, proportionate and stands a "reasonable" chance of success.

  35. Mistake to consult?

    The Conservatives' Jesse Norman describes as a "serious mistake" the convention that has arisen whereby major foreign policy interventions must be approved in Parliament except in an emergency.

    He points out that MPs are inevitably far less well-informed than ministers and as a body lacks the "capacity to act quickly and without warning to fast, changing events" resulting in "delay and loss of fragility and surprise which ill-serves our forces in the field".

    The Hereford MP says "extreme care should be exercised as to when or whether this House is asked to vote on these matters in future".

  36. 'Legal case'

    Backing the government, Liberal Democrat Greg Mulholland says there is a "clear legal case" for action coupled with an "overwhelming moral" case.

    He said it would be a "further tragedy" of the 2003 Iraq war - which he and his party opposed - if the UK felt it was unable to join an international coalition against the "genocide" and "ethnic cleansing" being carried out at the hands of IS militants. Mr Mulholland says those voting against the motion have offered no alternative to stopping IS.

  37. Motion before the House

    A reminder of the full text of the motion before MPs this afternoon:

    That this House:

    Condemns the barbaric acts of ISIL against the peoples of Iraq including the Sunni, Shia, Kurds, Christians and Yazidi and the humanitarian crisis this is causing;

    Recognises the clear threat ISIL pose to the territorial integrity of Iraq and the request from the government of Iraq for military support from the international community and the specific request to the UK government for such support;

    Further recognises the threat ISIL poses to wider international security and the UK directly through its sponsorship of terrorist attacks and its murder of a British hostage;

    Acknowledges the broad coalition contributing to military support of the government of Iraq, including countries throughout the Middle East;

    Further acknowledges the request of the government of Iraq for international support to defend itself against the threat ISIL poses to Iraq and its citizens, and the clear legal basis that this provides for action in Iraq;

    Notes that this motion does not endorse UK air strikes in Syria as part of this campaign, and any proposal to do so would be subject to a separate vote in Parliament;

    Accordingly supports Her Majesty's Government, working with allies, in supporting the government of Iraq in protecting civilians and restoring its territorial integrity, including the use of UK air strikes to support Iraqi, including Kurdish, security forces' efforts against ISIL in Iraq;

    Notes that Her Majesty's Government will not deploy UK troops in ground combat operations;

    Offers its wholehearted support to the men and women of Her Majesty's armed forces.

  38. Lords debate ends

    Lord Wallace concludes by telling the House that the UK must offer a "compelling" alternative to extremism; and Lords disband, returning to Parliament on 13 October.

  39. 'More details'

    Speaking from the Labour backbenches, Seema Malhotra condemns IS's actions, and says the group must be stopped. In an ideal world this would be through negotiation, but that this is not an option with IS, she says. This is a battle in defence of Islam, Ms Malhotra tells MPs - and dismisses suggestions that it is not the UK's fight.

    The Feltham and Heston MP says the ongoing air strikes have been successful, and have the support of Arab states in the region - but seeks more details from the government on its overall strategy for the region.

  40. Lords debate

    Mark D'Arcy

    Parliamentary correspondent

    Winding up for the government, Jim Wallace tells peers that President Assad is part of the problem not part of the solution - and rejects suggestions that the coalition against ISIL should cooperate with him. A significant comment.

  41. No vote in Lords

    As Lord Wallace has spelled out, peers will not vote on the proposal to join US-led strikes on Islamic State in Iraq. Their role is to debate the wider context and implications of military action.

  42. BBC's Norman Smith


    BBC's Norman Smith tweets: Lib Dem MPs addressed by Nick Clegg this morning ahead of #iraq vote but. sources say only "handful" expected to vote against

  43. Lords debate

    For the government, Deputy Leader of the House Lord Wallace of Tankerness welcomes widespread support for air strikes across the House of Lords "with only a few exceptions" which he says will encourage those military personnel going into operations.

  44. Commons benches

    It's just under an hour until MPs vote on whether to authorise UK involvement in air strikes against Islamic State militants in Iraq.

    The government looks set to win the vote easily. Downing Street has said a small number of troops could be sent to Iraq within hours, if the Commons backs the move.

    A wide shot of the House of Commons
  45. Lords debate - winding up

    Wind-up speeches begin in the Lords with Labour's Lord Bach, a shadow Foreign Office spokesman, who voices the opposition's support for military intervention and emphasises the role the Lords can play in continuing to scrutinise the government.

    He says "we have a legal, moral and political mandate" to act, but it must be backed by humanitarian and diplomatic efforts.

  46. Opposing the motion

    Restating her intention to oppose the motion, Labour MP Diane Abbott says there is no strategy or end game to the government's plan. The Hackney North MP says it is "quite clear" that IS is "inciting" the West to bomb the region, by publishing videos showing its beheadings of hostages.

    "Why doesn't that give people pause, that this is something they want? Because it will make them the heroic Muslim defenders against the crusaders," she warns.

    Diane Abbott
  47. Post update

    Mark D'Arcy

    Parliamentary correspondent

    tweets: Winding-up speeches starting in Lords - Labour's @FightBach then @jrwallace54 - with stunning self discipline, peers will finish on time

  48. Backbench speech

    Islam is facing its own version of the 30-years wars, says Richard Bacon. It is "delusional" to think the UK can get involved and support on side, he adds - and insists that only Muslims can decide for themselves if they want to "live together or die together".

  49. Lords debate

    UKIP former leader Lord Pearson of Rannoch, who says he backs the government's proposals, asks why the peaceful majority of the UK's Muslims do not do more to oppose the violent minority, suggesting they could issue a fatwa against those who sympathise with Islamic State.

  50. 'Mission creep'

    Opposing the motion, Labour MP Paul Flynn warns of "mission creep" into a "prolonged" war with "unforeseeable consequences" - and adds that it will be "almost impossible to extricate ourselves from it".

    The Newport West MP says another war will bring more terror and encourage more jihadists to join IS' cause. He questions why the UK cannot have an "independent" foreign policy "free of the United States".

  51. Lords debate

    Debate in the House of Lords is nearing its conclusion, with crossbencher Lord Singh of Wimbledon sceptical of what air strikes can achieve. He warns that "at best it can only bring us back to the instability" that followed the fall of Saddam Hussein.

  52. Post update

    Angus Robertson, Westminster SNP Leader

    tweets: MPs from @theSNP will vote against UK Govt motion on bombing Iraq which makes no mention of plan for winning the peace

  53. Co-ordinated plan

    Conservative MP John Baron - a former solider - impresses upon the House the importance of a co-ordinated military plan to combating IS in he Middle East.

    He says there is a danger that if the Iraqi army is not fit for purpose and cannot take and hold ground from IS, then air strikes will become "counterproductive" because IS "will be able to spin that they have withstood the might of the West".

    A political solution is also key, Mr Baron adds.

  54. Lords debate

    "I don't think there are serious legal objections" to air strikes without a UN resolution, Conservative former security Baroness Neville-Jones tells the House of Lords.

    She calls on the government to put more resources and efforts into combating radicalisation and argues in favour of removing passports belonging to people suspected of intending to travel abroad to take part in terrorist activities.

  55. 'Element of surprise'

    Former coalition minister Sir James Paice says there is "little doubt" that the House will support the motion in the vote later.

    But he opines that it is not wise to permanently rule out sending in UK combat troops on the ground - even though this is not something he wants to see. "We should always retain some element of surprise," he counsels.

  56. Who are Islamic State?

    • Formed out of al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) in 2013, IS first captured Raqqa in eastern Syria
    • It captured broad swathes of Iraq in June, including Mosul, and declared a "caliphate" in areas it controls in Syria and Iraq
    • Pursuing an extreme form of Sunni Islam, IS has persecuted non-Muslims such as Yazidis and Christians, as well as Shia Muslims, whom it regards as heretics
    • Known for its brutal tactics, including beheadings of soldiers, Western journalists and aid workers
    • The CIA says the group could have as many as 31,000 fighters in Iraq and Syria
  57. Post update

    Nick Robinson

    Political editor

    tweets: SNP MPs to vote against military action in Iraq as they have "deep deep worries" re a "3rd Iraq War" says @MorayMP

  58. SNP opposition

    The Scottish National Party's Westminster leader, Angus Robertson, says the House is agreed on the "brutality" of IS and that there is a case for something to be done. Yet many people listening to the debate are rightly worried about the potential for mission creep and a third Iraq war, he cautions.

    Mr Robertson questions what the government's plan is once the bombing starts - noting that there is "no commitment" in the motion for post-conflict resolution. For those reasons, the party will vote against the government, he informs MPs.

  59. Post update

    Widney Brown, Physicians for Human Rights

    tweets: In debate over #US bombing in #Syria we must remember #pain, #suffering of Syrians. @elise__baker @P4HR

  60. Anti-war

    Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn, who is a fervent anti-war campaigner, says he believes the motion "leads us into one war after another".

    He tells MPs he believes there has to be a political solution to the problem of IS within the region.

  61. Three minute time limit

    Backbench speeches have just been further curtailed to three minutes - owing to the number of MPs wanting to take part in the debate. Just a reminder that the vote is expected at 17:00 BST.

  62. Post update


    André Gomes emails: "George Galloway is absolutely right! Also, IS must be fought by Muslims as this will also allow western populations to realize that those with extremist views correspond to a small minority of Muslim populations."

  63. PM in Commons

    PM David Cameron is on the front bench, listening to the debate and the views of backbenchers.

  64. Lords debate

    Lord Howe of Aberavon, the Conservative former chancellor, touches on the recent Scottish referendum when he discusses how we should respond to the threat of Islamic State as "a still-United Kingdom".

    He concludes that he has "no difficulty" supporting the position of the US and UK governments because of the threat IS poses to British interests and democracy in general.

    Lord Howe
  65. Zac Goldsmith


    MP Zac Goldsmith tweets: Fascinating, thoughtful speech by @RoryStewartUK. One of the few genuine experts on the ME. Why on earth is he not in the Foreign Office?

  66. 'Complexity' of situation

    MPs are now listening to a speech from the Conservative chair of the Defence Select Committee. Rory Stewart says the debate has highlighted the "complexity" of the situation in the Middle East - "from Turkey to almost Turkmenistan".

    But he says the motion before the House is simple - and should be supported. He is of the view that air strikes are a "sensible response" to the problems posed by IS.

    Writing on his blog, he recounts how he visited Iraq last month and saw "why air-strikes can be worthwhile".

    Mr Stewart was appointed as Coalition Deputy Governor, responsible for two provinces in the Marsh Arab region of Southern Iraq, following the coalition intervention in Iraq in 2003.

  67. Lords debate

    Lord Trimble differs from previous speakers in his analysis of potential allies, saying there is "not much prospect" of Russia coming to the coalition's aid, that Iran has "at least two faces", and asking "what kind of country what we would be" if we cooperated with Assad.

  68. 'Open mind'

    Labour Co-operative MP Meg Munn talks about the "self-glorification" by IS through its release of videos of the torture and murder of Iraqi soldiers, and its persecution of other religious and minority groups. Ms Munn tells MPs she is "deeply troubled" by the way the international community has "stood on the sidelines".

    The MP - who co-chairs of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq All-Party Parliamentary Group - says the region is "under attack" from IS. She pledges her support for the motion - but urges the government to keep "an open mind" on possible further action in Syria.

  69. Lords debate

    Lord Trimble, former first minister of Northern Ireland who sits as a Conservative peer, says it would be "a ridiculous situation" if Parliament had to be consulted every time a new military action is planned and that it would amount to "interference" from politicians in military tactics.

    Lord Trimble
  70. Lords debate

    Labour's Lord Judd, a former Foreign Office minister, cautions against reducing the conflict between the US-led coalition and Islamic State as a struggle between good and evil.

    He argues that the behaviour of the UK and US has contributed to the anti-western ideology of IS terrorists.

  71. Tory backbencher's view

    Sir Edward is critical of the government's plan to bomb IS militants only in Iraq. He says it makes no military sense and questions whether the strategy will be effective.

    However, he says that despite his "severe doubts" he will support the motion, based on the experience of his visits to Iraq and the conversations he had with people there.

  72. Lords debate

    Conservative Lord Cormack says "we are going to need boots on the ground" and that "if we are going to win hearts and minds... then we are going to have to have great emphasis on humanitarian aid".

  73. Fostering jihadist conditions?

    Sir Edward Leigh, a senior Conservative MP, criticises successive UK foreign policy in the Middle East.

    He says the UK's "zealous liberalism" has encouraged revolutions across the region and yet we are "shocked" when these forces turn against us. "In that sense the British government is indirectly culpable in fostering the conditions for jihadism to thrive in Iraq and Syria," he argues.

  74. Get involved


    Jonathan: "Further military operations in Iraq will just create more enemies and slow down potential growth in the UK."

  75. 'Buying time'

    Labour MP Michael Meacher says the only justification in his mind for military action is not solely to halt IS's momentum but to "buy the time" to put in place a political and diplomatic framework to restore the "broken" Iraqi state.

  76. Legal basis

    Mr Grieve says he is "no doubt" that there is a legal basis for action in Iraq - and that there could also be a legal case for action in Syria, to protect the population in northern Syria from IS.

    He says this could be possible without an UN Security Council resolution - as the opposition is calling for. While acknowledging that action in Syria would be "more challenging", Mr Grieve says this is not a reason for doing nothing.

  77. Note of caution

    The government's former attorney general, Dominic Grieve, speaking from the Conservative benches, begins by sounding a note of caution on military action: that simply bombing IS in Iraq will not eradicate the threat it poses. But he says he finds it difficult "to sit on our hands" when IS continues to perpetrates its "barbarous crimes".

  78. Four minute time limit

    Speaker John Bercow announces that he has cut the time limit on MPs's speeches to four minutes, to try to fit in everyone who wants to speak.

  79. Get involved


    Tom Walker in London: "No, no, no, no, no.... This really has nothing to do with the UK. Without previous involvement, the middle east would be a much more stable place. All this is doing is providing more reason for extremists to keep on threatening our own country."

  80. Committee report

    The Political and Constitutional Reform Committee has produced several reports on Parliament's role in conflict decisions, the most recent of which, Parliament's role in conflict decisions: a way forward, was published on 27 March 2014.

    It calls for a draft resolution clarifying and formalising Parliament's role. The government has not yet responded to the committee's report.

  81. Lords debate

    Crossbencher Baroness Murphy writes for the Lords of the Blog website: "I am always uneasy when all political parties agree and I am uncertain about the wisdom of joining what may turn out to be a half-hearted attempt to rid the world of a murderous organisation."

    She expresses concern that the outcome will be "unpredictable" and that "there are multiple interlocking problems in the Middle East that this war will not solve".

  82. Post update

    Bonnie Greer, author

    tweets: #Labour MP Frank Dobson: "When I began in #HoC,there were men reluctant to send other people's children to war.They'd been there." #Syria

  83. In favour?

    So far in the debate, the consensus appears to be overwhelmingly in favour of the government motion.

    Tory Sir Gerald Howarth asserts that it is in the British national interest to join in air strikes against Iraq, and says the case for action in Syria is "quite strong". But he echoes points made by other MPs that military action alone is not the answer to defeating the ideology.

  84. Labour's view on Syria

    Labour and Dudley North MP Ian Austin distances himself from his party leadership's position on Syria.

    Ed Miliband says a UN Security Council resolution should be sought before agreeing to join in air strikes against IS in Syria - which are currently being carried out by the US and allies.

    But Mr Austin says Parliament must avoid giving the "impression" that Russian President Vladimir Putin "has a veto" over any such action. He adds that the West's "failure" in Syria has created a "vacuum" which has enabled IS militants to become so strong.

    Ian Austin MP
  85. Lords debate

    Baroness Browning, the former Conservative MP and one-time Home Office minister, predicts this will be "the beginning of something which is going to last much longer" and that the government will need to return to the House with a separate motion on Syria.

    Baroness Browning
  86. Lib Dem view

    Liberal Democrat Sir Nick Harvey offers his support to the government. He says IS is a "formidable threat" with a "very sophisticated" weaponry. But he says his "greatest misgiving" about the debate is with regards to Syria - and asserts that action against IS in Syria would be a different case entirely.

  87. Lords debate

    The Bishop of Derby, the Right Revd Dr Alastair Redfern, advises "we need to be much more proactive" about discussing how to lead "the good life" across different faiths, political perspectives and communities.

  88. Complex situation

    As MPs and peers debate the UK's involvement in military action in Iraq against IS, the US has been working to build a coalition to counter the spread of IS. How do other key countries view IS and how are they contributing to the effort against it?

  89. Get involved


    Andre in London: "It is sad we have to resort to a violent response but it seems inevitable with IS. I worry we may end up sending troops in which has already cost the country a lot of good men and women. IS also need to realise the greater their barbaric acts the greater the worlds resolve."

  90. More than military action

    Seeking to set out the challenges that lie ahead, Mr Duncan says this is a conflict without borders and the advance of "non-state actors" from a "poisonous viral movement".

    We can resolve to beat them but it is not the same as fighting a country, the Rutland and Melton MP cautions.

    He insists David Cameron must be given the flexibility and discretion to respond to events on the ground as the government sees fit. And he stresses the need for military action to go hand-in-hand with diplomatic, social, religious and financial action.

  91. 'Neither easy nor conclusive'

    Former International Development Minister Alan Duncan says the path ahead looks neither easy nor conclusive.

    He says the UK is justified to deploy its armed forces but adds that the strategic objective is "much more difficult to shape than in the past".

    The rise of IS has taken everyone by surprise, and the UK's well of understanding about the region has run rather dry, Mr Duncan tells MPs.

  92. Lords debate

    Lord Ramsbotham, a crossbencher and retired British Army officer, says he is "concerned" by the suggestion that "air power is the answer".

    He points out when we refer to "boots on the ground" we should think not only of Army boots but those involved in wider diplomatic and educational efforts to counter IS influence in Iraq. He adds there should be a force commander to head up the military coalition.

  93. Return to Syria discussion

    Another voice in support of the motion. Gisela Stuart - Labour MP for Birmingham Edgbaston - says there is a "myth" developing that IS is "undefeatable" and cannot be contained. She predicts MPs will return to the subject of action Syria - but says it is "incredibly foolish" to think that UK involvement in air strikes is some kind of magic answer there.

  94. Lords debate

    Lib Dem Lord Avebury agrees "air strikes are not sufficient by themselves" and raises the possibility of deploying infantry on the ground. He wants to know whether talks are taking place with Russia about providing military support.

  95. Naming IS

    Conservative former Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt says the Islamic world is "deeply upset" at the group being identified as 'Islamic State', and tells MPs "we must be sensitive of this".

  96. Lords debate

    Former Foreign Office minister and Labour peer Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean says she does not doubt that IS represents a threat to UK citizens at home and abroad. Like other speakers, she questions whether air strikes can succeed without ground troops and without some Syrian involvement.

    Baroness Symons
  97. Ann Treneman


    The Times' Ann Treneman ‏tweets: Three brilliant speeches: Pat McFadden, George Galloway and Adam Holloway follow each other, each rivetting in own way

  98. Ian Austin


    Labour MP Ian Austin has just tweeted: And by contrast, George Galloway just made one of worst speeches I've heard. Claimed ISIL victims quiesced in their persecution. Disgrace.

  99. Galloway speech

    Respect MP George Galloway - who opposed the 2003 Iraq war and was expelled from the Labour Party over his outspoken comments on the war - says the public are saying a "million 'I told you so's'" across the country.

    He says IS is "an imaginary army" with only 10,000 to 20,000 fighters - but it successfully holds the territory it does because it has the support of the population, made possible from past "Western occupation".

    Labour MP Ian Austin intervenes in his speech to label his comments "a disgrace". But Mr Galloway insists the problem will not be solved by bombing - and predicts that extremism "will be made worse" by Western intervention.

    George Galloway

    Mr Galloway is repeatedly challenged by MPs to offer his solution - prompting Mr Galloway to say that those already fighting IS must be equipped with the weapons they need, including the Kurdish fighters. He also says Turkey and Saudi Arabia should be doing more.

    "The last people that should be returning to the scene of their former crimes is Britain, France and the United States of America," the Bradford West MP concludes.

  100. Lords debate

    Former defence secretary Labour's Lord Hutton of Furness says "we should do what we need to do to win" and not rule out the deployment of UK ground forces.

  101. Lords debate

    Mark D'Arcy

    Parliamentary correspondent

    Iraq war era Attorney general Lord Goldsmith tells peers a case can be made for the use of armed force in Syria, too, under the right of self defence and collective self defence - and he adds "respectfully" that his (ie Labour's) front bench should take note of that.

  102. Syria warning

    The motion on IS does not go far enough and is only a "snapshot" of what will be required, opines Conservative Andrew Mitchell - a former government chief whip and ex-international development secretary.

    He believes the Commons will, at some point in the future, have to discuss possible UK involvement in air strikes against IS in Syria.

  103. Support

    Labour MP Pat McFadden says jihadists are responsible for their own actions and ideology - and says it is a "fundamental mistake" to think that the UK is responsible for violent jihadism. "We cannot say this loudly or clearly enough," he tells MPs.

    The Wolverhampton South East MP indicates he will vote in favour of the motion - but asks why it is right to pursue action in Iraq, and not Syria. "Isn't it the case that the motion before us is actually a reflection of where the country stands right now: somewhat limited in its confidence, overburdened by past events, looking too much in the rear view mirror?"

  104. Get involved


    Julie Davis in Kent says: "What part of 'global threat' do people not understand….this is not just a decision to jump into conflict for the sake of it, ISIL present a risk to GLOBAL security and we must act!"

  105. Lords debate

    Crossbencher Lord Dannatt, a former Chief of the General Staff, says we are "left no option but to take some action".

    He advises that "we've been slow to take action", the momentum is with Islamic State and it is "realistic" that military involvement could last for many years. He argues that if air strikes are not enough we should not confine ourselves to measures within Iraqi borders but consider coordinating with Syria and Assad.

    Lord Dannatt
  106. DUP position

    The DUP's Westminster leader, Nigel Dodds, underlines the party's support for the motion.

    To reject the Iraq government's invitation for assistance "would send a disastrous signal that the UK does not stand by its friends, by its allies, in times of trouble" and that it is prepared to "ignore the barbarism" of IS, he says.

    Another DUP MP, William McCrea, adds that the UK "cannot stand idly by and allow Islamic fanatics to terrorise innocent people in Iraq".

    Nigel Dodds
    Image caption: Nigel Dodds addresses MPs in the House of Commons
  107. Get involved


    Craig in Wirral says: "Even though killing anyone is wrong, sometimes you can't just turn the other cheek and get on with things. In this case we should be bombing ISIS militants. I find it ridiculous that Britain always has to wait for ages until they eventually follow America in these matters."

  108. Ground troops

    Nick Robinson

    Political editor

    A small number of British troops could return to Iraq if the Commons votes for British military action against IS forces tonight although not in a combat role. Downing Street says they would be used to guide air strikes, in a humanitarian role and, possibly, to train Iraqi and peshmerga forces (although this may take place in neighbouring countries).

    The government would not extend military action in Syria without a Commons vote unless there is an urgent humanitarian need to do so, the prime minister's official spokesman has said, pointing out that Mr Cameron has pursued a "very deliberate and measured approach and the PM been determined to keep consensus".

  109. Lords debate

    Labour's Lord Falconer of Thoroton, a Lord Chancellor under Tony Blair, says "we should stand up to ISIL by using force...there is no other sensible or just option" and that he has "no doubt" that this course of action is legal.

  110. Paul Waugh


    PoliticsHome editor Paul Waugh tweets PM's spokesman asked to define humanitarian trigger for action before Parly vote, cites example of Benghazi: "direct threat of large scale loss of life"

  111. RAF pilots

    Sir Nicholas concludes his brief remarks by wishing good luck and safe return to the UK's RAF Tornado pilots.

  112. Backbench contribution

    Senior Conservative MP Sir Nicholas Soames applauds the "tone and measure" of the prime minister's speech.

    He says the government has learned the lessons of successive failures in UK foreign policy towards the Middle East - and describes diplomatic efforts as "magnificent". He says it should be stressed that this "is not the West's fight" and that the UK is acting in support of an Arab coalition.

  113. Lords debate

    Former foreign secretary and Conservative peer Lord Hurd of Westwell tells the Lords there is "a terrible clarity" which has revealed IS as a plague comparable to the Black Death.

  114. Get involved


    Darren Westwood from Birmingham: "There will be no British troops on the ground in Iraq" remember those words at the next election. We all know this is the beginning of another full scale war.

  115. Diplomacy

    Labour MP Dai Havard stresses the importance of diplomacy, saying there is a possibility of "some soft of rapprochement" between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

    "It's dirty busy - diplomacy always is. You sometimes have to speak to people you don't want to speak to, to make progress," he says.

  116. Iraq and Syria

    As MPs and peers debate the UK's involvement in Iraq, the US-led coalition continues its action against IS.

    • The United States confirms three new strikes in Syria overnight targeting IS positions in the eastern province of Deir al-Zour.
    • Spanish and Moroccan police arrest nine people suspected of belonging to an IS-linked militant cell based in the Spanish enclave of Melilla, on the north coast of Africa.
    • Danish government announces it will be joining the military operations against IS - but only in Iraq. It will be sending seven F-16 fighter jets.
  117. Disrupting the threat

    Dominic Casciani

    Home affairs correspondent, BBC News

    We've had a lot of powerful talk in the House today about why the UK needs to be doing more to combat radicalisation and extremism. Here's an explainer on how the government's recent proposals for new terrorism powers aim to disrupt plotting by anyone returning from Syria and Iraq - and why some critics says there needs to be a plan that goes beyond just prosecutions and jail sentences.

  118. Lords debate

    The first speaker in the Lords to oppose military action is Lib Dem Baroness Falkner of Margravine, who sits on the National Security Strategy Committee.

    She says "we're rushing into action" when "US firepower is more than adequate to degrade ISIL" even without the assistance of Arab countries or the UK.

  119. Lords debate

    Labour's Lord Reid of Cardowan, former home secretary and defence secretary, makes the case for supporting military measures with public services such as education and sanitation which he says will constitute "a real intervention to defend the winning of the peace".

  120. Get involved


    Angelina in the UK: "I disagree with the stance on Iraq as air strikes will escalate the violence. As for bombing Syria, this is also a foolish move, because the country is in a civil war and more conflict will not ease the problem. How about diplomacy instead of this constant war mongering? I disagree with the opinion that bombing ISIS will decrease the conflicts. I may be a dreamer, but I believe in peace and that can only be achieved via diplomacy, communication and treaties."

  121. Financial squeeze

    The UK must also act economically - and stop financial flows to the IS, Liam Fox tells the Commons.

    "We've got to stop groups in the region playing a double game - and publicly decrying them but providing them with the funding that they require," he says.

    He adds that it is a mistake not to include Syria in the motion, stressing that the group operates from Syria and attacks "the Iraq state itself from Syria". He believes there is a legal case to attack Isil bases in Syria - and warns that "sooner or later" this will have to happen.

  122. Lords debate

    Former Conservative Party leader Lord Howard of Lympne also supports UK participation in military action, asking "what kind of country would we have become" if we didn't intervene.

  123. Backbench speeches continue

    Speaking in support of UK action, Liam Fox - Conservative former defence secretary - says IS threatens to destabilise the entire region and will become "global exporters of jihad if we allow them".

    He says greater regional support is needed than at present, including Turkey, which he describes as a key player in the region, and a strong Nato ally.

  124. Statement from Green MP

    Green MP Caroline Lucas has issued a statement opposing air strikes: "The hateful ideology of ISIL must be stopped.

    "But I've yet to be convinced, from the evidence I've heard so far, that military strikes will be effective in achieving that. Ultimately we need a political solution - ISIL represents an ideology; killing people rarely kills their ideas. To the contrary, it more often fuels them."

  125. Labour contribution

    Labour MP Alison McGovern asks whether the UK can do more to help refugees in the regime. She says the UK has a "moral duty" to help the innocent victims of the conflict.

  126. Lords debate

    The Archbishop of Canterbury stressed the need to win the religious and ideological argument, observing that for some young Muslim the lure of extremism "outweighs the attractions of a consumer society" and warns that if we don't address that "we will fail in the long-term".

    Archbishop of Canterbury
  127. Ghost of 2003

    It's clear from the debate so far that the legacy of the 2003 invasion of Iraq is still fresh in MPs' minds. Many references have been made to the UK's involvement in that war. This was also the case during last year's debate on possible military action against Syria in response to allegations of chemical weapons being used against civilians- in which MPs voted against action.

  128. Stella Creasy


    Labour MP Stella Creasy tweets: Powerful words from @Alison_McGovern who argues it is our job to make sure the future is not like the past when it comes to #iraq

  129. Lords debate

    The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Justin Welby, tells peers: "We do need to take this action now."

    He calls on religious leaders to "up their game" in order to offer a "more remarkable hope than ISIL".

  130. Lib Dem comments

    Sir Ming says the language in the debate so far has been about "destruction", but, he says, "I am not sure it possible to destroy an ideology."

    However, you can adopt "containment and deterrence" by degrading military capabilities, he counsels, and voices support for UK action. Sir Ming's comments are cut short by the speaker, as he exceeds the five-minute time limit.

  131. Joyce Anelay


    Foreign Office minister Lady Anelay tweets: Briefed Parliamentary colleagues on #ISIL this morning. Clear threat posed to UK & international community requires strong, united response.

  132. Graham Evans MP


    Conservative MP Graham Evans tweets: @HazelBlearsMP making very powerful speech making the good point about radicalisation of young Muslims in the UK.

  133. Lords debate

    Lord Hannay of Chiswick, a crossbencher and former UK ambassador to the UN, says "the case for acting now is compelling" given the attorney general's legal advice and the invitation from the Iraqi government to take action.

  134. Survival of Iraq

    Iraq's very survival is at stake, Sir Ming cautions, and says the UK has a degree of responsibility to act, as the 2003 invasion has been a "major contributor" to current circumstances.

  135. Lib Dem contribution

    Sir Ming Campbell - former leader of the Liberal Democrats - is now addressing the Commons. This is an entirely different set of circumstances from Iraq in 2003, he tells MPs, and notes that the UK would be responding to a request from the "lawful" Iraqi government. He insists there is a legal basis for UK participation in air strikes against Iraq.

  136. Lords debate

    Lord Alderdice, convenor of the Lib Dem leader in the Lords, opens by saying that the request for help from the Iraqi government and the "brutality" of Islamic State actions means that "we have little alternative but to render such assistance as we can".

    Lord Alderdice
  137. Post update

    Nick Robinson

    Political editor

    tweets: Debate on paper = UK military action v IS in Iraq. Commons will vote Yes. Debate in reality = should Syria be next? Mood of real anxiety

  138. Lib Dem in Lords

    Mark D'Arcy

    Parliamentary correspondent

    First Lib Dem speech in either House - Lord Alderdice, now up in the Lords.

  139. Sam Coates


    The Times' Sam Coates tweets: Peter Hain makes clear he believes strikes in Syria may be justified even if illegal. Taking harder stance than EM.

  140. Tory heavyweight

    Former Conservative Cabinet minister Ken Clarke says the case for action in Syria as well as Iraq is "clear" - and that it is "artificial" to divide the two problems. He stresses that the UK "did not create extremists jihadists", but "we made things worse and we made it easier for them to spread through some of our interventions".

  141. Fiona Mactaggart


    Labour MP Fiona Mactaggart tweets: colleague John Woodcock, who unlike me knows how to vote today, says failure to build effective Iraqi state following invasion creates duty to act now

  142. Lords speakers

    Speakers in the House of Lords today are expected to include former ambassador to the UN, Lord Hannay of Chiswick (crossbench), the Archbishop of Canterbury, former Conservative Party leader Lord Howard and Labour's former home secretary Lord Reid.

  143. Peter Hain

    Labour's Peter Hain follows, and sets out his support for the government's motion. He says he shares his party leadership's caution about extending action to Syria without UN backing, but adds that allowing IS to retreat "across an invisible border to them which they control into Syria to regroup is no answer".

  144. 'Trepidation'

    Sir Richard Ottoway
    Image caption: Sir Richard Ottoway wraps up his speech but telling the House: "It is with a feeling of depression and trepidation that I will be supporting the government tonight."
  145. Richard Benyon


    Richard Benyon ‏MP tweets: Really excellent speeches from Prime Minister and Leader of Opposition. Parliament at its best

  146. Syria situation

    Sir Richard says intervention is the "very least" the UK can be doing, as a world leader in the EU, Nato and the G8. But he laments that the motion does not propose action in Syria, noting that the country's border with Iraq has "virtually disappeared".

    Addressing Mr Miliband's calls for a UN Security Council resolution before action in Syria could be taken, the Tory MP emphasises that Russia has indicated it would veto such a resolution - and tells the Labour leader it is incumbent on him to say what his position would then be.

  147. Announcement to peers

    Mark D'Arcy

    Parliamentary correspondent

    Lords told that debate will end at 16:30 BST if backbench speeches kept to four minutes - enabling their debate to influence Commons.

  148. What's the threat to the UK?

    Dominic Casciani

    Home affairs correspondent, BBC News

    The PM repeatedly told MPs that the key issue for the UK is the threat that ISIL poses on our own streets. Security chiefs think that at least 500 people from Britain have gone to fight. As of June, there had been 69 arrests and some 15 cases have been going through the courts. Many of those who first went to fight said they would never come back - but security chiefs fear "blowback" - that some of these men will return radicalised and ready to strike the UK.

  149. Foreign Affairs Committee chair

    Sir Richard says the battle is one between "young and radical" militants versus the "slow democracies" of the West and the civilised world. But these democracies are our strength, he argues, as they give us a legitimacy that IS and similar rebel groups will never have, and that is what will ultimately undermine them.

  150. House of Lords

    A few procedure points: the first speaker in the Lords is leader of the House Baroness Stowell of Beeston, who is setting out the government's position as outlined earlier in the Commons by the prime minister. She will be followed by shadow deputy leader of the House Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, who will set out the Labour party's position.

    House of Lords
  151. Backbench speeches

    That concludes the front bench speeches for now - opening the floor to backbench MPs. Speaker Bercow announces that 77 MPs are hoping to speak in the debate. As we mentioned earlier - there is a five-minute time-limit on speeches. The first of the backbench speeches comes from Sir Richard Ottaway, the Conservative chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee.

  152. Point of order

    Conservative MP Bill Wiggin raises a point of order with the Speaker to complain about a TV camera crew in the chamber - which is filming for a BBC documentary.

    He says they should be relocated, as they are obstructing MPs from getting in to the chamber. Speaker John Bercow does not agree.

  153. Conclusion

    Mr Miliband says the motion is about protecting democracy, and while "difficult" it is the "right thing to do". He concludes: "There is no graver decision for our Parliament and our country. But protecting our national interest, security and the values for which we stand is why I will be supporting the motion this afternoon."

  154. Arab states

    Mr Miliband says that failure to intervene would give the UK "less moral authority" to ask Arab states to "play their part" in defeating IS. He's talking about the 2003 war in Iraq. Like Mr Cameron, Mr Miliband stresses that any action against IS in Iraq will not be a "rerun" of 2003. To demonstrate this, he says there is "no question" of British ground troops being deployed.

  155. Action 'proportionate'

    Mr Miliband said the "hardest test" to meet before committing UK forces is for there to be a "reasonable prospect" of success. But he tells MPs there is "already evidence" that the US-led air strikes are having the effect of "holding back" IS. He also believes that the action being proposed is proportionate.

  156. Labour leader

    Mr Miliband says he understands and shares people's "wariness" about committing the UK's armed forces: "Intervention always has risks but a dismembered Iraq would be more dangerous for Britain."

  157. Peers ready

    Down the corridor in the House of Lords, peers are about to start their debate on action against Islamic State (IS) in Iraq. Fifty-nine speakers have put their names down to take part.

  158. Miliband speech

    The opposition leader counsels that there has be broad support in the region for UK involvement, "because this action must not be seen as a new form of imperialism". He adds that regional support is also essential to the long-term success of the mission.

  159. Post update

    Mark D'Arcy

    Parliamentary correspondent

    The Lords debate is about to start: here's the early running order of speakers:

    Baroness Stowell of Beeston (Leader of the House), Lord Hunt of Kings Heath (Lab Deputy Leader), Lord Alderdice (Convener of Lib Dem Peers), Lord Hannay of Chiswick (former diplomat) the Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord (Michael) Howard of Lympne, Lord (John) Reid of Cardowan, Baroness Falkner of Margravine (Lib Dem) Lady Jay of Ewelme (another ex-diplomat), Lord (Douglas) Hurd of Westwell.

  160. Labour leader

    Ed Miliband
    Image caption: "I support this motion today because we would be responding to the request of a democratic state in Iraq fighting for its own survival," Mr Miliband tells the Commons.
  161. Iraq as a 'haven'

    Mr Miliband says that were the militant group to overthrow the democratic Iraq state it would create regional and international instability. It would make it more likely that Iraq would become "a haven and training ground for terrorism directed at the UK", he cautions.

  162. Post update

    The Labour Party

    tweets: Let us be clear, this is about air strikes against ISIL in Iraq. Not ground troops or action elsewhere. -@Ed_Miliband

  163. 'Need for action'

    Returning to his speech, Mr Miliband describes IS as "a murderous organisation" that also has "ambitions for a state of its own - a caliphate across the Middle East, run according to their horrific norms and values". He says there is a need for military action to "contain and help counter" the threat of IS in Iraq.

    Ed Miliband
  164. Syria question

    Labour leader Ed Miliband is pressed to say whether he would support a separate motion authorising military action against Syria, if necessary. Mr Miliband sets out his preconditions for action, telling MPs it would be "better" to seek a United Nations Security Council resolution authorising such action.

  165. Post update

    Mehdi Hasan, Huffington Post UK

    tweets: This is the Yes Minister theory of airstrikes: "We must do something. This is something. Therefore we must do it." #iraq

  166. 'Perverted ideology'

    Mr Miliband say IS is a threat to "anyone who does not subscribe to their deeply perverted ideology", which has "nothing to do with the peaceful religion practised by people across the world and by millions of our fellow citizens, who are appalled by what we see".

  167. BreakingBreaking News

    It's time for the response from the leader of the opposition now, Ed Miliband. The Labour leader says the motion is not about ground troops nor UK military action elsewhere, in Syria. He says he understands the unease about undertaking military action and adds: "Those who advocate military action today have to persuade members of this House and the country not only that ISIL is an evil organisation but that it is we, Britain, who should take military action in Iraq."

  168. PM sits down

    David Cameron
    Image caption: David Cameron finished his speech with a plea that the situation is not the same as the 2003 intervention in Iraq
  169. 'This is not 2003'

    Concluding his remarks, the prime minister says UK military intervention in Iraq in 2003 "hangs heavy" over the Commons - but he insists this situation is different.

    "This is not 2003 but we must not use past mistakes as an excuse for indifference or inaction."

  170. 'Tougher line'

    The Conservatives' Richmond MP, Zac Goldmsith, says the UK needs to take a "much tougher line" with allies such as Saudi Arabia "who have been fuelling and funding terrorism for decades".

  171. Tessa Jowell


    Labour's former culture secretary Tessa Jowell tweets: Packed chamber for debate on RAF engagement in airstrikes in Iraq expect almost unanimous support to deal with evil and menace of ISIL

  172. Motion wording

    Lib Dem MP Julian Huppert raises concerns about the wording of the motion - and seeks confirmation that combat troops will not be permitted on the ground in Iraq. Mr Cameron later says it is for the Iraqi government to defeat IS in Iraq, and that he is not contemplating sending in ground troops because "it would be the wrong thing to do".

  173. Peter Hain's comments

    The prime minister is taking lots of interventions on MPs - although mainly on Syria, rather than than Iraq. Former Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain presses Mr Cameron over earlier remarks that the government would authorise action to prevent a humanitarian crisis before consulting parliament first. Mr Cameron says he supports the convention of seeking parliamentary approval first but stresses that it is important for the government to reserve the right to act without it, in the event of a critical threat to the national interest or to prevent a catastrophe.

  174. Noise level

    Mark D'Arcy

    Parliamentary correspondent

    Labour MP Peter Hain pounces on the PM's comment that he would act without parliamentary approval to address a humanitarian catastrophe. A significant moment. The noise level in the Chamber seems to be edging upwards.

  175. Robert Halfon MP


    Robert Halfon tweets: PM says international Law under UN Responsiibility to Protect also justifies intervention

  176. No ground troops

    Setting out what a successful outcome would look like, Mr Cameron says it would result in a stable Iraq and Syria with IS "degraded and destroyed" as a serious terrorist threat. But it will not happen quickly, he cautions - and repeats assurances that UK ground troops would not be deployed.

  177. Moral case

    The prime minister tells the Commons there is "no question" about the legality of the military action being proposed by the UK government. He says there is a clear basis in international law, with a request from the Iraqi government. It is "morally right" to ask the Armed Forces to take part in international air strikes, "and I believe we should do so now", he adds.

  178. Labour contribution

    Labour backbencher David Winnick presses the PM to say whether the action he is proposing will be successful in the UK's objectives. He says action could last for years. Mr Cameron tells him IS "have already declared war on us" and that there isn't "a walk on by option".

  179. Voice of dissent

    Mark D'Arcy

    Parliamentary correspondent

    For the first time a bit of hostile murmuring as Green MP Caroline Lucas intervenes to call for more effort towards a diplomatic solution.

  180. Tory support

    Conservative MP Sarah Wollaston, who voted against action in Syria last year, told BBC News: "This time I will be voting in favour of action. I think the situation now is very different from last year.

    "I think we're seeing an unfolding genocide and I think we have a duty not to walk the other side of the road. I also think that ISIS is a very clear threat to us here in the UK irrespective of whether we get involved."

  181. Front bench

    David Cameron is flanked by his foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, and the Lib Dem Deputy PM Nick Clegg. He tells MPs they must weight up the consequences of action and inaction. "If we allow Isil to grow and thrive there's no doubt in my mind that the level of threat to the country would increase."

    David Cameron
  182. US position

    Barack Obama

    Mr Cameron tells the Commons that President Barack Obama has "made clear" he wants Britain to join the air strikes. The PM says UK involvement is also protecting British national security, "so it's right for us to act".

  183. 'Direct assistance'

    On why military action is necessary, Mr Cameron tells the Commons there is "no realistic prospect" of defeating IS without it. The Iraqi government wants more direct assistance, he goes on to say. "They need our military help and it is in our interest and theirs to give it." Bob Ainsworth intervenes to say the Iraqi Army must have the will to defend the Sunni Muslim areas of the country. Replying, Mr Cameron says there is "no doubt" in his mind that the government understands this point - but the UK must make clear that any help is conditional on the Iraqi government defending "all of your people".

  184. Syria situation

    Mr Cameron says the situation in Syria is "more complicated" because of its "brutal dictator" President Assad and the civil war that has been ongoing for the past three years.

  185. Government support

    Former Tory foreign minister Alistair Burt asks the PM whether the UK would consider giving military hardware to the Free Syrian Army to take on President Assad and IS. They need our help, he urges. Mr Cameron says the government has supported them with advice, training and non-lethal equipment "and I am not proposing a change to that today". He says there is a "strong case" to do more in Syria - but tells MPs he did not want to bring a motion before the Commons which had "no consensus".

  186. MPs' interventions

    Mark D'Arcy

    Parliamentary correspondent

    The PM is not ploughing on regardless - he's taking interventions from sceptics and supporters. MPs Dennis Skinner, Hazel Blears and Edward Leigh have all stood up.

  187. Humanitarian efforts

    David Cameron says action abroad must include humanitarian efforts, diplomatic efforts to engage the widest possible coalition of countries against IS, and political efforts to support an "inclusive" and "democratic" governments in Iraq and Syria. But I do believe that our military has an indispensible role to play, he adds.

  188. Backbench question

    Another intervention, this time from senior Conservative Sir Edward Leigh, who asks whether air strikes alone can "roll back" IS, "or is this just gesture politics?"

  189. 'Poisonous narrative'

    Mr Cameron says the cause of the problem is the "poisonous narrative of Islamist extremism" and adds that Muslims must "reclaim their religion from these extremists".

  190. Intervention

    Veteran Labour MP Dennis Skinner intervenes to ask "how long will this war last and when will mission creep start". Mr Cameron tells him it will take "years" but "we must be prepared for that". He stresses that the coalition against IS includes Arab states and the UK must be prepared to play its part.

  191. Defeating extremism

    The prime minister says the government has a "clear plan" to combat the Islamist group. He takes MPs through actions the government is taking to defeat all forms of Islamic extremism at home and abroad.

  192. 'Terrorist organisation'

    Mr Cameron says IS is a threat to national security. It is a terrorist organisation unlike any other we have known before, he says, and condemns the "brutality" of the group's actions. It is also backed by billions of dollars and has captures an arsenal of the most modern weapons, he tells MPs. "This is not a threat on the far side of the world."

  193. BreakingBreaking News

    David Cameron is on his feet addressing MPs, setting out the terms for any UK military involvement in air strikes against IS militants. He says the question is about how to address "the threat posed" by IS.

  194. MPs sitting

    We're getting the first pictures from the House of Commons. The green benches are packed.

    House of Commons
  195. Time limit

    The debate in the Commons will get underway in just a few moments. There is a five-minute time limit on backbench speeches, due to the number of MPs wishing to take part in the debate.

  196. Andrew Stephenson MP


    MP Andrew Stephenson tweets: Met the Attorney General this morning discussing the legal basis for military action, now heading to the @HouseofCommons for prayers

  197. Anti-IS coalition

    The proposed motion to be debated by Parliament comes after a third night of US-led air strikes which targeted IS-controlled oil refineries in Syria. Jets from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have joined US forces in the attacks, and the US says more than 40 countries have offered to join the anti-IS coalition.

  198. Military action

    The BBC's James Robbins has been looking at the role the British military could play if UK action is given parliamentary approval.

  199. MP's view

    Labour MP Graham Allen
    Image caption: Graham Allen, Labour MP for Nottingham North, says he will vote "against going to war again in Iraq"
  200. MPs' approval

    The government does not have to seek the approval of MPs to begin military action - but it has become customary to do so since the Iraq war in 2003. Last year, Parliament was recalled to discuss possible military action against Syria over President Bashar al-Assad's alleged use of chemical weapons. It was the 27th recall during a recess since 1948.

  201. Vote against

    Speaking to BBC News, Labour MP Graham Allen - who is opposing UK military action - warns that the UK is going to play into the hands of IS by joining in air strikes "and we will live to regret it, unfortunately". These things can only be sorted out by the Arab nations in the region, he adds.

  202. Timings

    Prime Minister David Cameron will open the Commons debate at 10:30 BST (09:30 GMT) - it is expected to last seven hours. The House of Lords is also sitting today - from 11.30 BST - to discuss possible UK military action.

  203. Labour position

    Ed Miliband

    Labour leader Ed Miliband said this morning: "I'm not going to make predictions but we will be supporting action against Isil in Iraq today in the House of Commons because Isil is a murderous organisation which threatens the stability of Iraq, the region and a threat to our national interest."

  204. Foreign Secretary

    Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme earlier, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said: "The plan is to provide air support to the Iraqi government, alongside our allies - the US, France and an increasing number of Arab countries who are going to take part."

  205. Party positions

    The Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and Labour all back action against Islamic State in Iraq, which the coalition says is legal because it was requested by the Iraqi government. The UK government is not proposing any involvement in air strikes on Syria.

  206. Commons motion

    The motion being debated states that IS is a direct threat to the UK, that the Iraqi government has requested assistance and any action does not extend to ground troops or air strikes in Syria.

  207. Good morning

    Follow our live coverage of the recall of Parliament, as MPs debate whether the UK should join air strikes in Iraq.