Fallon warns of Paris-style attack risk

Paris-style attack could ‘easily’ happen here, says UK defence secretary

Michael FallonImage copyright PA
Image caption Michael Fallon urged MPs to weigh up the arguments about air strikes

Paris-style attacks could “easily” happen in UK cities such as London, Manchester or Glasgow, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has warned.

Mr Fallon stepped up efforts to win MPs’ backing for air strikes against Islamic State (IS) fighters in Syria.

In a Sunday Telegraph interview, he said IS could only be beaten by force.

But he admitted it would be harder to get the support of the Commons if Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn required his MPs to vote against air strikes.

Mr Fallon said: “I hope all MPs will weigh up the arguments.

“They need to keep us safe here in Britain, to respond to the United Nations resolution and to France’s call for help.

“The RAF is making a difference in Iraq and we need to hit Isil harder and deal with this death cult once and for all.

“These aren’t people you can negotiate with. You can only deal with them by force.”

The defence secretary said he had informed the RAF not to presume that Parliament would support extending air strikes against IS targets into Syria as well as Iraq.

Strategy briefing

Mr Fallon has been briefing Labour MPs on the government’s strategy this weekend.

The BBC understands he is encouraged by his conversations, with many Labour MPs saying they will vote on the merits of any government motion whatever the party line, according to our political correspondent Carole Walker.

A government source said a vote in the Commons this week looked increasingly likely, our correspondent adds.

Mr Corbyn has said he will not support the government and faces critical meetings with his shadow cabinet and MPs on Monday as the party struggles to resolve its deep divisions over the issue.

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