LABOUR leader Keir Starmer has said he supports targeted strikes against Houthi rebels but has called for a statement in Parliament “at the first opportunity”.

Rishi Sunak is facing growing calls to recall MPs following what he described as “necessary and proportionate” air strikes.

The Prime Minister said the action against the Iranian-backed group, who he has accused of threatening UK ships, was in “self-defence”.

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The Houthi group has recently stepped up attacks on commercial vessels in the Red Sea and has warned any attacks would not go “without a response”.

Speaking in an interview with Reuters on Thursday, chief negotiator for Yemen’s Houthis Mohammed Abdulsalam said the group is seeking to pressure the west into a ceasefire, including lifting the siege on Gaza and moving towards peace and dialogue.

The group has attacked ships it says are linked to Israel or bound for Israeli ports with various shipping lines suspending operations and instead taking the longer journey around Africa.

Asked by BBC Radio 5 Live if the military action had his support, Starmer said: “Yes it does. The Government briefed me in a Cobra secure briefing last night about the action that was going to be taken that has now been taken.

“Clearly the Houthi attacks in the Red Sea have to be dealt with, their attacks on commercial shipping, attacks on important trade routes and putting civilian lives at risk and therefore, we do support this action.

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“I do think there needs to be a statement in Parliament, which isn’t sitting today so it’s for the Government to make sure there’s a statement in Parliament as soon as possible at the first opportunity, to set out the justification, to set out the limits and scope of the operation.”

Rishi Sunak is facing increasing calls to recall MPs to Parliament to address the matter, including from SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn.

The National:

Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle (above) has said he is “happy to facilitate” a recall of Parliament “at any time” amid the calls.

“I made representations to the Deputy Prime Minister about the need for the House to be informed at the earliest possible opportunity and that I would be happy to facilitate a recall at any time,” he said.