Campaigners hailed a potential breakthrough today in their campaign against obscene drone weapons which are wreaking mass slaughter in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
It emerged that the Commons defence select committee is considering an investigation into the lethal remote-controlled weapons and their effect on civilians.
The committee's decision follows the launch of a cross-party parliamentary group last month on drones, chaired by campaigning Labour MP Tom Watson.
A spokesman for defence committee chairman James Arbuthnot said: "The terms of reference for any future inquiry will be announced in due course."
Left MP Jeremy Corbyn said he would welcome any investigation by the committee into drones, which were "a uniquely obscene form of warfare."
Plaid Cymru Westminster leader Elfyn Llwyd said the defence committee needed to look carefully at the "abhorrent" use of drones and indiscriminate civilian deaths.
Tory MP Zac Goldsmith is vice-chairman of the new cross-party drones group and Lib Dem MP John Hemming is treasurer.
Also in the group is Blaydon Labour MP David Anderson, who said it was in the public interest for Parliament to uncover the "huge issues" surrounding these weapons.
Tory MP Rehman Chishti launched a Westminster Hall debate two weeks ago, protesting that up to 885 civilians had been killed by US unmanned aerial vehicles in Pakistan.
Defence Minister Philip Dunne admitted that 349 "precision-guided weapons" had been fired by British forces in Afghanistan - but he denied any British involvement in Pakistan.
n A US Human Rights Watch report today urged a pre-emptive ban on proposed new fully autonomous weapons known as "killer robots," which would be able to choose targets and then fire without human intervention.