On Wednesday, MPs will debate whether or not to bomb Syria. David Cameron is facing the possibility of his own Conservative MPs rebelling.
But he had a plan to make sure they fell in line and backed the war.
It was flawless. He'd just tell MPs...
PM urged his MPs not to "walk through the lobbies with Jeremy Corbyn and a bunch of terrorist sympathisers"— Laura Kuenssberg (@bbclaurak) December 1, 2015
It's fair to say that not everyone reacted the way he might have hoped.
Cameron's labelling of those who oppose his bombing plan as "terrorist sympathisers" is contemptible demagoguery. Utterly shameful.— Tom London (@TomLondon6) December 2, 2015
He managed to unite the Labour party...
Just told BBC radio sheffield Cameron's 'terrorist sympathisers' show he sees this deeply serious decision on Syria as chance to slur Labour— John Healey MP (@JohnHealey_MP) December 2, 2015
...with their bitter rivals SNP...
Don't think even Tony Blair called opponents of his war 'terrorist sympathisers'. Sort of new low from Cameron.— Pete Wishart (@PeteWishart) December 2, 2015
...and the guitarist from Queen.
"THOSE WHO VOTE with Jeremy Corbyn are TERRORIST SYMPATHISERS" - Cameron. Was there ever a more despicable sentence uttered by a PM ? Bri— Dr. Brian May (@DrBrianMay) December 2, 2015
Others pointed out where David Cameron's own sympathies lay...
David Cameron is, literally, a terrorist sympathiser in that he facilitates the continued success of the criminal Saudi regime.— Saint Mic-o-las. (@brokenbottleboy) December 2, 2015
...and who his party had once counted among its enemies.
Had he accused Parliament's own Foreign Affairs Committee of sympathising with Isis?
Does Cameron think MPs on the Foreign Affairs Select Committee who oppose Syrian attacks are "terrorist sympathisers"? The man is a disgrace— Cllr John Edwards (@JohnEdwards33) December 2, 2015
What about large number of his own Conservative MPs, who would inevitably vote against him?
Can't wait for Cameron to look behind him in the Commons tomorrow and call his own anti-war backbenchers "terrorist sympathisers".— Cllr John Edwards (@JohnEdwards33) December 2, 2015
Or perhaps even... a very large chunk of the British public?
David Cameron, has, in effect, accused millions of people in Britain of being a "bunch of terrorist sympathisers." https://t.co/3Pg5hvv83D— James Melville (@JamesMelville) December 2, 2015
Some commentators suggested he might have deliberately wanted to stoke up a diversion.
With "terrorist sympathiser" comment, Cameron's managed to slap a dead cat on the table he was having a roast dinner on.— Conor Pope (@Conorpope) December 2, 2015
Others thought the comments could backfire dramatically.
"It has to be politically survivable for Labour MPs to vote with me. Let's call their boss a terrorist sympathiser." Cameron, apparently.— Stephen Bush (@stephenkb) December 2, 2015
But despite all the chatter, all that will matter tonight are the numbers.
Latest BBC number crunching suggests 362 MPs in favour, 175 against, 80 undecided— Laura Kuenssberg (@bbclaurak) December 1, 2015
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