Jeremy Corbyn has suggested he would not have authorised the drone strike believed to have killed the Islamic State (IS) member known as Jihadi John.
The Labour leader said he “questioned” the legality of the attack, carried out by the US with support from the UK.
He also hardened his opposition to extending RAF airstrikes against IS into Syria – ruling out giving Labour MPs a free vote on the issue – and criticised France for mounting a wave of raids on the extremists’ stronghold of Raqqa in response to the terrorist attacks in Paris.
David Cameron has said targeting Mohammed Emwazi last week was an act of “self defence” as he presented a real and continuing threat to British citizens.
But in a round of broadcast interviews, Mr Corbyn told ITV News: “I would only authorise actions that are legal in the terms of international law.”
Pressed on whether he believed attacking Emwazi had been legal, he said: “I question that. Surely if somebody is doing something wrong you act legally against them.
“If we are setting ourselves up as the West, as in accordance with the UN, with international law and of our own laws, then I think we have to act in accordance with them.”
Mr Corbyn made clear to Labour MPs that they should not expect a free vote if Mr Cameron returns to the Commons seeking support for British military intervention in Syria.
“I am just not convinced that a bombing campaign will actually solve anything, it may well make the situation far worse,” he told Sky News.