David Cameron criticised for taking second holiday amid British involvement in Iraq

The former head of the British Army and an ex-SAS soldier said Parliament should be recalled

Prime Minister David Cameron has today been criticised for taking a second summer holiday despite the crisis in Iraq.

As Cameron started a break with his family in Cornwall, the former head of the British Army said “the nation would expect” Parliament to be recalled to debate British involvement in Iraq.

General Sir Richard Dannatt, who was a defence adviser to the Prime Minster  after he retired as chief of the general staff in 2009, warned that MPs and Lords would get “very frustrated” if they did not get to address the situation before Parliament is due to sit again in October.

His concerns were backed by ex-SAS officer Chris Ryan, who has spoken of his fears for the UK if British people who have gone to Iraq and Syria to join Islamist extremists return home and continue their fight here

Mr Ryan, who served in the SAS for 10 years and was awarded a military medal, said Cameron should cancel his holiday and recall Parliament due to the seriousness of the situation in Iraq.

But the Prime Minister has insisted he remains in control and will be able to manage the Government's response from the South West.

Britain is poised to provide weapons to Kurdish troops fighting the “murderous extremists” of Islamic State (IS) in northern Iraq as well as continued humanitarian aid.

 

Speaking from Cornwall, Sir Richard told BBC Breakfast: “I think Members of Parliament and members of the House of Lords will get very frustrated if they stay in recess through August and September until October.

"It is not the same as last year, the end of August, when there was a specific proposition that the British might support the Americans in bombing (Syrian president Bashar) Assad's chemical capability, that was a specific issue.

“But I think there will come a point as this general set of circumstances unfolds, when Parliament needs to come back together, people need to have a full debate about it and express their point of view.

"I think the nation would expect that. Everyone has private points of view, I think they need to be aired publicly, I think they need to be aired in Parliament and then I think the PM is going to have confidence that he has got Parliament behind him and hopefully a consensus across the political parties that we are doing the right thing."

Meanwhile Mr Ryan, who is now an author, told the Daily Mirror: "Without a shadow of a doubt Parliament should be recalled...this simply cannot wait.

“My biggest fear is when they (Islamist extremists) come back to the UK, Germany and France. They will join forces again and develop ways of bringing military grade explosives and weaponry.”

The 53-year-old said he strongly believes the SAS can overcome Islamic State (IS) fighters if they work alongside American special forces.

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said yesterday the UK will not be “putting combat boots on the ground”, but Mr Ryan claimed it would take only small specialist units, rather than thousands of soldiers, to work strategically to defeat the IS fighters.

He said the threat is not confined to Iraq, and something needs to be done to prevent what he called the rise of a terrorist network that could exceed anything previously seen.

Additional reporting by Press Association

Read more: Islamic State's message to America - 'We will drown you all in blood'
Mosul dam capture by IS 'could have been catastrophic' says Obama
Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Proust as Captain Laure Berthaud in 'Spiral'
tvReview: Gritty, engaging and well-acted - it’s a wonder France’s biggest TV export isn’t broadcast on a more mainstream channel
Arts and Entertainment
music
Arts and Entertainment
Laura Carmichael in still from Madam Bovary trailer
film
News
i100
Sport
Serena Williams holds the Australian Open title
sportAustralia Open 2015 final report
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Online Media Sales Trainee

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Now our rapidly expanding and A...

Recruitment Genius: Public House Manager / Management Couples

£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about great ...

Recruitment Genius: Production Planner

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Recruitment Genius: General Factory Operatives

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Day In a Page

Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing