David Cameron today started his second holiday of the summer despite Britain’s growing involvement in tackling the continuing crisis in Iraq.
The Prime Minister has insisted he remains in control and will be able to manage the Government’s response from Cornwall where he has headed for a break with his family.
Britain is poised to provide weapons to Kurdish troops fighting the “murderous extremists” of Islamic State (IS) in northern Iraq as well as continued humanitarian aid.
Mr Cameron has pledged that t he UK will not be “dragged into a war in Iraq” but Labour has criticised the Government’s strategy, claiming the British role in the crisis is unclear.
Earlier this month the premier cut short a trip to Portugal to respond to the emergency and has insisted he will do the same again “instantly” if necessary.
“Wherever I am, wherever I am in the world I am always within a few feet of a BlackBerry and an ability to manage things should they need to be managed,” he said yesterday.
“And indeed as I have done on I think almost every holiday that I have enjoyed over the last few years, to return instantly should that be necessary.
“For the next few days I shall not be terribly far away, so if that’s necessary you will find me at my desk.”
Mr Cameron made a series of phone calls to Middle East leaders in a diplomatic push before the start of his holiday and Downing Street insisted the PM was “driving” the government’s response.
” He has been engaged throughout this crisis and will continue to be so,” a No 10 spokeswoman said.
“The PM has been very much driving the Government’s response and looking at what we should be doing.”
United States President Barack Obama last night said the retaking of Mosul dam from IS militants by Kurdish and Iraqi fighters was a “major step forward”.
The operation was supported by the US as part of its l ong-term strategy to bring down the militants, he said.
IS captured the Mosul Dam, the country’s largest dam and a centre for water and electricity supplies, two weeks ago.