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MPs defend votes on Syria military action
Menston and Burley-in-Wharfedale MP Philip Davies was among the Tory rebels who voted against the Government’s motion on Syria in the House of Commons last week.
The vote inflicted a humiliating defeat on the Prime Minister who was forced to rule out UK involvement in military action against Syria.
Ilkley Conservative MP Kris Hopkins voted in favour of the Government’s motion, as did Horsforth and Aireborough’s Conservative MP Stuart Andrew, while Otley’s MP Greg Mulholland (Lib Dem, Leeds North West) abstained on the Government motion and voted against the Labour amendment.
After the vote Mr Hopkins said: “The Government motion put before MPs made clear that, before any military action could be considered, UN weapons inspectors should have the opportunity to brief the Security Council, a UN Security Council resolution should be sought and the House of Commons would be asked to vote again.
“Given these safeguards, I had no hesitation in supporting the motion and would do so again.
“But I must respect the will of Parliament – reflecting the views of the British people – which did not want to see our country becoming involved militarily in Syria.”
Mr Andrew said the failure of the motion meant Britain was now doing nothing which he found “quite disturbing”.
He stressed the vote had not been about arming the rebels or getting involved in a civil war.
“This was about getting the international community to stand against someone who had used chemical weapons and broken international law,” he said.
“I don’t like war, I hate it. I think we have to learn valuable lessons from the Iraq war and from Afghanistan.
“I don’t want us getting involved in another war like that – but equally I don’t know how we can stand by and watch innocent people being murdered with chemical weapons.”
However, Mr Mulholland said: “I welcome the fact the Prime Minister has ruled out the UK getting involved with non-UN approved strikes on Syria.
“I made clear I would not support this and would vote against any such decision and also that I believed that a majority of MPs didn’t support this either, which has now been demonstrated.
“I believe that this also is the majority view of the British public.
“Although the Government motion was a reasonable one and did not authorise UK involvement, I made clear that I would not support it and I am pleased that now there will not be a second vote and that the UK will not be getting involved in military action.
“The crucial thing now is that the UN weapons inspectors’ report and all credible intelligence is presented to the UN Security Council.
“The international community must come together to discuss an appropriate response to what has been a war crime.
“The focus must now be on the people of Syria and the international community, including the UK, must urge the UN to respond appropriately.
“It is right not to rush into military action but we must not ignore what has happened and must play our part in assisting those who have suffered so terribly.”
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