Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron has suggested that Britain may strike Houthi targets in Yemen again if the rebel group continues to attack ships in the Red Sea. Speaking out against the "unacceptable" conflict, Lord Cameron warned that allowing the Iran-linked militants to block container ships in the busy trade route could lead to higher prices in Britain.
The US and the RAF carried out a bombing raid on Houthi sites in Yemen, prompting the rebels to vow revenge. Lord Cameron, writing in the Sunday Telegraph, stated that the joint action "will have gone some way to degrade Houthi capabilities built up with Iranian backing." He argued that not taking further action would mean accepting that Houthi attacks could shut down a vital sea lane with little consequence.
Lord Cameron emphasized that if the Houthis continue to deny passage to ships, it would threaten vital supply chains and drive up prices not only in Britain but also globally. He stated that the air strikes sent a clear message that the UK is determined to put a stop to the Red Sea attacks. Lord Cameron hinted that Britain could join the US in future strikes if necessary.
Sir Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour Party, defended his support for the strikes. In an article for the Independent, he argued that protecting trade, security, and lives is paramount to the national interest. Sir Keir called for the Prime Minister to make a full statement to the Commons, but stressed the need for swift military action when faced with threats. His support for the air strikes has drawn criticism from some on the left, as it contradicts his previous stance on requiring a Commons vote before military action.
Diane Abbott, former shadow home secretary under Jeremy Corbyn, who now sits as an independent, expressed her disagreement with Sir Keir's support for the military action on Yemen. She stated that in 2020, Sir Keir pledged "no more illegal wars" and advocated for a viable objective and parliamentary consent before backing military action. Abbott argued that the current military action on Yemen lacks these criteria, yet Sir Keir supports it.