BRITISH Prime Minister Theresa May has hit back at accusations she blindly followed US President Donald Trump into missile strikes against Syria, telling the UK parliament the military action was in the national safety interest.

In a fiery speech in the UK’s House of Commons overnight, Ms May was forced to defend her decision for the UK to join air strikes against the Syrian regime without first consulting parliament.

She said the strikes were “morally and legally” right and she had the backing of the international community including Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

“We have not done this because President Trump asked us to do so. We have done it because we believe it was the right thing to do,” she said.

“There is broad based international support for the action we have taken.”

“NATO has issued a statement setting out its support, as have the Gulf Co-operation Council and a number of countries in the region.”

“And over the weekend I have spoken to a range of world leaders — including Chancellor Merkel, Prime Minister Gentiloni, Prime Minister Trudeau, Prime Minister Turnbull and European Council President Donald Tusk.”

Ms May said they had not waited for the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to complete its report on the chemical weapons attack because Russia and Syria were blocking the investigations.

She also claimed civilians were being searched by the Syrian regime before leaving Douma to ensure they were not taking any evidence that related to chemical attack out of the area.

“The images of this suffering are utterly haunting. Innocent families — seeking shelter in underground bunkers — found dead with foam in their mouths, burns to their eyes and their bodies surrounded by a chlorine-like odour,” Ms May said.

“Children gasping for life as chemicals choked their lungs. The fact that such an atrocity can take place in our world today is a stain on our humanity.”

It comes after the British Prime Minister was attacked by Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn over the attacks who described them as “legally questionable” and said they could lead to war.

Ms May was also criticised by members of her own party for failing to consult parliament before ordering the strikes.

She said that she had to act quickly and that parliament would hold her to account.

The UK will be continuing its diplomatic efforts in relation to Syria, she said.

On Friday night the United States, Britain and France launched a “precision strike” on three chemical weapons facilities in Syria in retaliation for a poison gas massacre that killed dozens of civilians.