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Boris Johnson to return home from holiday on Sunday after Corbyn asked for emergency meeting over Iran

Boris Johnson is expected to return to the UK on Sunday after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn sent a letter requesting an urgent meeting be held about Iran.

Mr Johnson has been celebrating the New Year with his partner Carrie Symonds on the private Caribbean island of Mustique, and has been criticised for his lack of response to the US strike which killed a top Iranian general.

The Prime Minister is said to be arriving in the country early on Sunday however, Number 10 has not confirmed when exactly he will return or what his schedule will include upon his arrival.

His silence amid the growing tensions in the Middle East has resulted in the hashtag “WheresBoris” trending on Twitter among other alarming trends about the conflict including “World War III”.

Mr Corbyn has demanded an urgent meeting of the Privy Council with Mr Johnson over the situation, as the Pentagon announced it will send 3,000 more troops to bolster their forces in the Middle East.

It has now been announced that Britain’s navy will accompany UK-flagged ships through the Strait of Hormuz to provide protection to ships sailing under a British merchant flag.

Defence minister Ben Wallace said he had ordered the warships HMS Montrose and HMS Defender to prepare to return to escort duties.

“The government will take all necessary steps to protect our ships and citizens at this time,” he said
In the letter, Mr Corbyn asked seven questions about the airstrike which killed General Qasem Soleimani, the head of Tehran’s elite Quds Force.

The questions include what the UK Government knew ahead of the airstrike, which took place on Friday at Baghdad’s international airport , and if there was an increased terror risk in the UK.

He also asked whether Mr Johnson had spoken to US President Donald Trump about the airstrike.

The outgoing opposition leader also asked if the UK had spoken to the UN “to discuss consequences for peace and security” and what measures had been taken to “ensure the safety of UK nationals”.

It has been claimed that Mr Johnson was not warned in advance about the US airstrike.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab urged all parties to “de-escalate” adding: “Further conflict is in none of our interests.”
Mr Raab said: “We have always recognised the aggressive threat posed by the Iranian Quds force led by Qasem Soleimani.”

The Government has come under fire for failing to condemn the US airstrike in Iraq.

Labour Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell is among those who have hit out at the government as he joined protesters at an anti-war demonstration outside Downing Street on Saturday.

Speaking at the protest, Mr McDonnell said: “We’ve been here before, we were here 17 years ago. And there’s one lesson that came from those events, is that violence begets violence,” Mr McDonnell said
“And it was acts like this that led us to the catastrophic war in Iraq.”

Amid heightened tensions over the killing, British nationals have been advised not to travel to Iraq, apart from essential travel to its Kurdistan Region, while all but essential travel to Iran was warned against.

The Foreign Office warned anyone in Iraq outside the Kurdistan Region should consider leaving by commercial means because the “uncertain” security situation “could deteriorate quickly”.

Alerts regarding other Middle East nations were also being increased, with calls for citizens to “remain vigilant” in nations including Afghanistan, Israel, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and the Untied Arab Emirates.

The US President said he ordered a strike to prevent a conflict, but Tehran has vowed harsh retaliation – raising fears of an all-out war.

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