April 16, 2018 / 11:25 AM / a year ago

PM May wants to give parliament time to debate Syria strikes: spokesman

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May attends a Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting Youth Forum in London, April 16, 2018. REUTERS/Simon Dawson/Pool

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May wants to give parliament plenty of time on Monday to scrutinize her decision to join U.S. and French air strikes on Syria at the weekend, her spokesman said.

May has been criticized for bypassing lawmakers when she decided to launch the action in Syria, which she has defended by saying the government needed to move quickly to protect “operational security and give a very clear message” to Damascus.

“The prime minister has set out very clearly over the weekend her reasons for taking the action which we did in Syria, her focus today is on making a statement to parliament, allowing parliament to scrutinize that decision,” he told reporters, adding that an application for an emergency debate would give lawmakers even more time to discuss the strikes.

Reporting by Elizabeth Piper; editing by Michael Holden

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