THERESA May has insisted she wasn’t just following Donald Trump’s orders when she gave the command for RAF jets to take part in this weekend’s airstrikes in Syria.

In a statement to MPs, the Prime Minister insisted all other options had been exhausted, and the Government had little choice but to target Syrian Government buildings believed to have been used for stockpiling chemical weapons.

There had been anger from the SNP, Labour, the Liberal Democrats, and even a handful of her own backbenchers, that May hadn’t recalled parliament, or asked MPs for approval of the military force, a convention in the Commons since the Iraq war in 2003.

May said she was clear it was “parliament’s responsibility to hold me to account”, but that the need for a quick strike meant there was no time to organise a vote. “This was a limited, targeted strike on a legal basis that has been used before. And it was a decision that required the evaluation of intelligence and information, much of which was of a nature that could not be shared with parliament,” she said. “We have always been clear that the Government has the right to act quickly in the national interest.”

She added the the Government was confident in its “assessment that the Syrian Regime was highly likely responsible for this attack and that its persistent pattern of behaviour meant that it was highly likely to continue using chemical weapons.”

The rush was in part down to “to block any proper investigation”.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the Prime Minister needed to remember she was “accountable to this parliament, not to the whims of the US President”.

That comment infuriated the Tory benches.

Corbyn called for a renewed diplomatic effort, and backed SNP calls for a military powers act requiring a government gets the approval of parliament before launching action.

“There is no more serious issue than the life and death matters of military action. It is right that parliament has the right to support or stop the government from taking planned military action,” he said.

Corbyn also said that it was too soon to say that attack had been launched by the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

“Given that neither the UN or the OPCW has yet investigated the Douma attack, it is clear that diplomatic and non-military means have not been fully exhausted. While suspicion, rightly, points to the Assad government, chemical weapons have been used by other groups in the conflict.”

The Labour leader also said the Prime Minister should have waited for UN approval of the attacks.

May said waiting for UN authority would give all the power to Moscow.

“The Leader of the Opposition has said that he can ‘only countenance involvement in Syria if there is UN authority behind it’. The House should be clear that would mean a Russian veto on our foreign policy,” she said.

“Let me be absolutely clear: we have acted because it is in our national interest to do so. It is in our national interest to prevent the further use of chemical weapons in Syria – and to uphold and defend the global consensus that these weapons should not be used.

“For we cannot allow the use of chemical weapons to become normalised – either within Syria, on the streets of the UK or elsewhere.

“So we have not done this because President Trump asked us to do so.

“We have done it because we believed it was the right thing to do. And we are not alone.”

The SNP’s Ian Blackford said it would have been “perfectly possible for the house to be recalled in advance of Saturday morning’s airstrikes.”

He asked what this would mean for May’s position if there were further chemical attacks in Syria.

The SNP Westminster leader accused the Government of not paying attention to the lessons of the Chilcot report into the war in Iraq.

“Once again we’ve been dragged into a military action with little regard for the humanitarian situation on the ground, and no longer strategy taken.”

There is no military solution in Syria, Blackford said, “the solution must be political”.