How the strikes against Syria unfolded, with phone calls from Chequers and a sky full of missiles

It was midnight at Chequers and Theresa May had a long list of phone calls to make.

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For the first time in her premiership, she was ordering British forces into combat and from the prime minister’s Buckinghamshire manor she began to phone the UK’s other political leaders to inform them of her decision. 

One call was to Jeremy Corbyn, who had warned that strikes against the Syrian regime might be illegal and called for more negotiations at the UN. The Labour leader appealed to her to change her mind and allow a vote in Parliament but Mrs May had settled on her course.  

The prime minister telephoned the first ministers of Wales and Scotland, solemnly explaining to each of them why she thought intervention…

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