Region’s MPs react to Government ‘no’ vote on Syria action

Prime Minister David Cameron speaks during a debate on Syria in the House of Commons, central London
Prime Minister David Cameron speaks during a debate on Syria in the House of Commons, central London

LABOUR MPs in our region have given their reaction after proposals for possible UK military action against Syria to deter the use of chemical weapons was rejected.

Parliament was recalled from its summer recess to vote on military intervention but the Government’s motion was defeated 285-272, ruling out joining US-led strikes.

It followed the suspected chemical weapons attack in Mouadamiya, that allegedly killed more than 1,300.

The Government’s motion was in support of military action if it was backed up by evidence from United Nations weapons inspectors, who are currently investigating the attack.

During the Commons debate, the opposition had seen its own amendment, which called for “compelling” evidence that the regime was responsible for chemical attacks, rejected by MPs by 114 votes.

Hartlepool MP Iain Wright voted for the opposition’s amendment but against the motion and said he had concerns over the evidence for military action and the fear of escalation.

Mr Wright said: “Voting to send British troops into military action is one of the biggest decisions an MP can make and you do not do that lightly.

“To make a decision before the evidence just seemed the wrong way round.”

He said the Government’s defeat was of Prime Minister David Cameron’s own making by attempting to use the House of Commons as a “rubber-stamping” exercise.

Grahame Morris, Easington MP, voted against both the Labour amendment and the Government motion as he believed military intervention would make the situation worse.

Mr Morris said: “I personally believe that the atrocities that have been committed against the civilian population are abhorrent and whoever is responsible should be brought to justice.

“But I don’t think military intervention, including bombing particular targets, would help to resolve the situation.”

Alex Cunningham, Stockton North MP, voted in favour of the Labour amendment and against the motion proposed by the Government.

Mr Cunningham said: “The House of Commons made it clear that they didn’t support any form of military action and I think that reflected the views of other people in the country.”

Phil Wilson, Sedgefield MP, was unavailable for comment when contacted by the Mail.