Tuesday 21 November 2017

British PM Cameron denies wife Samantha is pushing for change in Syria

British Prime Minister David Cameron and wife Samantha Cameron
British Prime Minister David Cameron and wife Samantha Cameron

Gavin Cordon

Downing Street has sought to play down reports that David Cameron was being pushed to take a more proactive stance on Syria by his wife, Samantha.

The Times quoted a Cabinet minister as saying Mrs Cameron was the "biggest explanation" for her husband's hawkish response to the conflict in Syria.

She is said to have pushed for a firm reaction to the humanitarian crisis in the region after visiting a refugee camp in Lebanon last March as an envoy for the Save the Children charity.

The Prime Minister's spokesman, however, stressed that policy on Syria was a matter for the National Security Council.

"I would proceed with a fair bit of caution on this one," he said. "The Government's approach to Syria is driven through the National Security Council. That is where our policy and approach is driven."

He acknowledged, however, that Mrs Cameron had been affected by her visit to the camp.

"Mrs Cameron travelled herself to the region where she saw the horrifying effects of the conflict on the children she saw in the refugee camps," the spokesman said.

Mr Cameron, together with French president Francois Hollande, succeeded in securing the lifting of an EU arms embargo on Syria.

However, he has been forced to promise that the Commons will be given a vote on any move to send weapons to rebels in the face of deep opposition from many of his own MPs.

The spokesman emphasised that no decision had been taken to supply arms to the rebels.

Press Association

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