Daesh atrocities against religious and ethnic minorities should be recognised as genocide, David Cameron has said.
The Prime Minister told MPs he believes there is a “very strong case” for labelling the terror group’s actions as acts of genocide, adding he hopes they will be “portrayed and spoken as such”.
MPs last month increased pressure on the Government to formally accept that the actions of Daesh against Yazidis, Christians and other ethnic and religious minorities in Iraq and Syria do constitute genocide.
They approved a non-binding motion, which also pressed for the matter to be referred to the UN Security Council, by 278 votes to zero.
But Foreign Office Minister Tobias Ellwood initially replied by insisting it is up to the courts and not the Government to make the judgment.
Speaking during Prime Minister’s Questions, Conservative former minister Sir Edward Leigh (Gainsborough) told Mr Cameron: “The Christian, Yazidi and Shia children in Syria are suffering from genocide by Daesh and we should recognise it as such.
“May I urge you to indeed do more to replicate the Kindertransport of the 1930s.
“That is what we’re doing in taking children directly from the camps in Syria. If we were to take 16-year-olds from a safe environment in Europe we would simply be causing more misery and encouraging the people traffickers.”
Mr Cameron replied: “Well you basically asked me two questions there. One is whether there’s more we can do to label what has happened as genocide.
“This has always been something that is done under a legal definition but I believe very much that … there’s a very strong case for saying it is genocide and I hope it will be portrayed and spoken as such.
“On the issue of the Kindertransport, I would agree with you.
“We’ve got an enormous amount that we can be proud of – the money we’ve put into the camps, the fact we’ve raised more in London on one day than any humanitarian conference has ever raised in the history of the world, and we’ve got a very strong record.
“Now, as I’m saying we are going to do more for children who are already registered in Europe before the EU-Turkey deal, but the principle we should try to cling to is that we shouldn’t do anything that encourages people to make the perilous journey.
“That’s been the cornerstone of our policy and it should remain the case.”
Picture: Prime Minister David Cameron speaks during Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons, London. (PA)