Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock was among the Labour backbenchers who took a thinly veiled jab at Jeremy Corbyn while making their support known for the Prime Minister’s response.
The Labour leader was also heckled by Tory MPs following his response to Mrs May’s latest statement on the nerve agent attack, in which he condemned the “appalling act of violence” before urging continued “robust dialogue” with Russia.
Speaking in the Commons, Mr Woodcock, a long-term critic of Mr Corbyn, said: “This is a day for the House to speak as one for the nation, and Mrs May will be reassured to hear that a clear majority of Labour MPs, alongside the leaders of every other party, support the firm stance which she is taking.”
Former Labour minister Pat McFadden earlier told the chamber: “Responding with strength and resolve when your country is under threat is an essential component of political leadership.
“There is a Labour tradition that understands that and it has been understood by prime ministers of all parties who have stood at that despatch box.
“That means when chemical weapons are used, we need more than words, but deeds.”
Meanwhile, Labour MP for Ilford South Mike Gapes called the Prime Minister’s response “appropriate, measured and correct” and the party’s former minister Chris Leslie said he welcomed “her condemnation of what is increasingly looking like a rogue state”.
Labour’s Stephen Doughty said that while he did not shy away from criticising the Government’s international policy when they have got it wrong, he told Mrs May: “She has my full and unequivocal support for the measures she has set out today.”
Parliament ERUPTS as Corbyn takes SHOCK swipe at Boris during Russian spy debate
Their comments come after the Prime Minister announced that 23 Russian diplomats she branded “undeclared intelligence officers” have a week to leave the country following the attack on former spy Sergei Skripal.
Mrs May added: “The UK government concluded it was highly likely Russia was responsible for this attack.
“Either this was a direct attack by the Russian state against our country or conceivably the country could have lost control of the military grade nerve agent.
“Their response has demonstrated complete disdain for the gravity of this situation.”
Tory former minister Mark Francois praised Mrs May’s response as “having flashes of the Iron Lady about it”, and said it was “in stark contrast to the attitude of the leader of the Opposition”.
He said Mr Corbyn “simply could not bring himself to condemn Russia for this outrageous act”, adding: “Is that not because he remains at heart what he has always been: a CND-badge wearing apologist for the Russian state?”
Mr Corbyn’s remarks in the House of Commons also sparked outrage from members of the public.
Theresa May RIPS into Jeremy Corbyn for tepid response to SHOCK Russia aggression
Ian Elstub wrote on Twitter: “Corbyn just tried scoring political points re the Russia nerve gas attack on UK soil. Unbelievable, despicable man. Thank God we didn’t have him in politics in 1939.”
Twitter user ‘Libertarian Rebel’ added: “Corbyn gets it wrong again. Describes Salisbury poisoning as no more than an “act of violence”, & wants to use it as excuse/vehicle to degrade the West’s own defence capability.”
Meanwhile, Mrs May said: “I think the people will take their own conclusions from what they have heard today.”