Wales politics

Plaid Cymru 'will listen' to case for Syria air strikes

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Media captionLeanne Wood told Sunday Politics there would need to be "a number of tests" before British involvement

The case for British air strikes against so-called Islamic State in Syria will be "listened to" by Plaid Cymru, Leanne Wood has said.

Plaid has previously voted against British overseas action, including the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Ms Wood said that the party was not yet convinced about British involvement but would "listen very carefully" to David Cameron's proposals.

MPs voted against RAF strikes in Syria two years ago.

The prime minister will not revisit the issue unless he is confident he has enough support.

'Matters of seriousness'

Speaking to Sunday Politics Wales, Ms Wood said: "I think there would need to be a number of tests met before we were convinced that we were not about to make the same mistakes as we made back in 2003.

"It is very difficult to discuss hypotheticals; clearly the sanction of the UN would be something important to us, but that is not the only thing.

"We would need to see some sort of plan to make sure there was an endpoint. I would like to be satisfied that there was some sort of definition as to what success would look like; what a peace plan would look like."

The backing of Plaid's three MPs would be a significant symbolic gesture, but could also be significant to any vote because of the small Conservative majority in the Commons.

Some Labour MPs are demanding a free vote on Syria, but Ms Wood said Plaid's position would be determined by her as party leader.

Image caption Leanne Wood and Nicola Sturgeon at the 2015 Plaid Cymru conference

"It will be a decision for the leader; it's a big question which merits the leadership's sanction," she said.

"But the way I like to work in general is to try and reach consensus and work with my team and we tend to come together in consensus on matters of seriousness like this."

Ms Wood was echoing comments made by the Scottish First Minister last week.

Nicola Sturgeon, of the SNP, said she was "prepared to listen" to the arguments for British airstrikes.

The SNP unanimously opposed UK military involvement in Syria at its party conference in October.

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