War in Iraq: Rushanara Ali MP steps down from Labour front bench in protest at military action

Ms Ali quits as education spokesperson

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A Muslim MP has stepped down from the Labour front bench after refusing to support British military action in Iraq against Isis targets.

Rushanara Ali, the MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, quit as an education spokeswoman ahead of her decision to abstain in the Commons vote.

Ian McKenzie was sacked as the aide to shadow Defence Secretary Vernon Coaker, after defying a three-line Labour whip to vote against military intervention.

They were among 23 Labour MPs who opposed the action. The rebels included Diane Abbott, Kate Hoey, John McDonnell, Barry Sheerman and Dennis Skinner.

Six Conservatives opposed deploying the RAF. They were Richard Bacon, John Baron, Gordon Henderson, Adam Holloway, Nigel Mills and Mark Reckless.

Scottish National, Plaid Cymru and SDLP MPs voted en masse against the move, as well as Julian Huppert (Lib Dem), Caroline Lucas (Green) and George Galloway (Respect).