September 30th, 2016

MPs divided as air strikes go ahead

MPs divided as air strikes go ahead MPs divided as air strikes go ahead
(from left) Sajid Javid, Richard Burden and Nigel Huddleston
Updated: 10:55 am, Dec 04, 2015

THE MEMBERS of Parliament representing Bromsgrove, Droitwich and Northfield were divided when they came to vote on whether the UK should carry air strikes out on Syria.

Following a ten-hour Commons debate on Wednesday (December 2), the decision to launch the attacks was won by an overwhelming majority of 174  with 397 voting yes and 223 opting for no.

MP for Bromsgrove, Sajid Javid told The Standard: “After a very poignant ten-hour debate, I am pleased the House of Commons voted in favour of air strikes.

“The first responsibility of a Government is to protect its citizens.

“I am proud of our brave armed forces who are now taking action to degrade and destroy Daesh as part of a comprehensive approach which includes military, humanitarian and political action with our allies to help keep Britain safe.”

Mid-Worcestershire MP, Nigel Huddleston agreed with his Conservative colleague.

He said: “The UK has specialist skills, weapons and expertise which are not currently at the disposal of the coalition of forces conducting air strikes in Syria.

“In particular, we have state of the art Brimstone guided missiles that enable precision bombing, thereby reducing the chance of innocent people being killed or injured by bombing.

“If we had not been asked by our allies, if we were not contributing incremental force, if the experts were advising otherwise, if we did not have a plan in place for reconstruction – and if we were not already bombing on the other side of the border, then I would be voting against military action.

“Conducting air strikes is therefore a necessary, rather than desirable, conclusion.”

But Labour MP for Northfield, Richard Burden said he did not vote for air strikes because ‘the high risk of civilian casualties would do more harm than good’ in densely populated civilian areas.

He said: “In my view, there is absolutely no question of the need to defeat Daesh who are a direct threat to people of all religions.

“It means taking them on ideologically, it means tackling the causes of their rise. It means thwarting the grubby financial and trade paths that keep them in business.”

He added: “My question is will air strikes play into the hands of Daesh’s online propaganda war in the region and here at home, using pictures of widespread civilian casualties to radicalise yet more young people into believing their brand of murderous jihadism?

“I believe the likelihood of this very real.”