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Hilary Benn protest

Hilary Benn MP (left) confronted by Peter Brierley (right), whose son, Lance Corporal Shaun Brierley died in the Iraq war joins protest against UK bombing Syria.

Peter Brierley, who made headlines when he snubbed Tony Blair over his son's death, joins protest against Hilary Benn MP

Labour's shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn MP was confronted by 40 students, campaigners and veterans of anti-war activism at his constituency in Little London today

Protesters included Peter Brierley, whose son, Lance Corporal Shaun Brierley died in the Iraq war and who made headlines when he snubbed Tony Blair in 2009 ('My Son's Blood Is On Your Hands').

Hilary Benn spoke to the protesters outside his surgery for his local constituency party in Leeds. Over the course of the conversation he:

  • absurdly denied any influence of the Iraq war on the unrest in Syria
  • denied the influence of UK foreign policy on the radicalisation of ISIS recruitees
  • pointblank refused to rule out intervention without a UN resolution

It was clear through the course of the conversation that Benn had little-to-no idea of which groups fighting in Syria Britain should back in the war -- if any -- or what his ultimate desired outcome might be.

He was also unenthusiastic about exhausting political and diplomatic avenues before considering military intervention.

Hilary Benn has voted consistenly in favour of UK war policies over the past 14 years, including Iraq in 2003 and Libya in 2011.

This will be the first of a series of lobbies in the Leeds area, as part of the campaign to pressure British MPs over the coming weeks against voting in parliament for intervention in Syria.

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