Leader of the opposition Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn (L) speaks with with Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn on day two of the annual Labour party conference in Brighton on September 28, 2015. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL
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The House of Commons fell silent as Hilary Benn implored MPs to approve the government's plan for airstrikes on Daesh (ISIS) militants in Syria to which his party leader Jeremy Corbyn is opposed.Benn's newfound authority poses a clear threat to Corbyn's embattled leadership, an ironic twist given that Benn's father Tony was both a political hero and close friend of the Labour chief.The issue of war and terrorism has laid bare the divisions, with Corbyn being forced to allow his MPs a free vote on airstrikes as all-out conflict threatened to break out in the party.A stark example of the disunity came as MPs prepared to vote, when protesters from Stop the War, a group previously chaired by Corbyn, chanted "Hilary Benn, shame on you!" outside parliament.The party is expected to hold the seat, and a solid majority in the first public vote since becoming Labour leader would bolster Corbyn's position.
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