Shadow business secretary Angela Eagle would not reveal which way she wanted to vote on air strikes in Syria, but it was clear just how uneasy a topic this is for the deeply divided Labour party as she carefully picked her words.
“There’s no easy, right or wrong answer to Syria,” she said at the Confederation of British Industry’s Medium Sized Business Summit in London today.
“Every MP is wrestling with his or her conscience on what to do.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is holding meetings today (one just now at 1pm and the other at 6pm) to decide whether to whip MPs to oppose air strikes in Syria. A three-line Labour whip against military intervention would likely put prime minister David Cameron off holding a vote, but it could also trigger a flurry of resignations within the opposition party.
Even more cagey at today’s conference was Lloyd’s boss and City smoothie Antonio Horta-Osorio. I asked him whether the Bank of England’s decision on stress tests tomorrow (ramping up capital requirements, curbing excessive lending) would hinder the bank’s plans to expand its lending to small and medium sized businesses, but he wouldn’t comment further than saying he was “very confident” about tomorrow.