I'm left deeply disappointed by Parliament
THANK you to the 60 or so constituents who contacted my office last week with their views on the current situation in Syria and what could or should be done. I very much appreciate constituents sharing their views with me in this way, as well as the many people I have met out shopping and at a range of local events.
During the more than two years of civil war in Syria, I have met with people from or with families living there, our Armed Forces, charities working in Syria and neighbouring countries caring for the huge number of refugees. I have also met with Ministers and joined debates and asked questions in Parliament. All this time I have supported the Government's efforts, working with allies to urge the Assad regime to enter a meaningful peace process to find a political solution to the crisis in Syria. I have urged great caution about any sort of military intervention.
The debate last week was about how the UK should respond, after the UN inspectors' report over the weekend, to the Syrian regime's alleged use of chemical weapons against their own citizens. The use of chemical weapons is against international law and constitutes a crime against humanity. The Government was not proposing an invasion of Syria nor joining the Syrian civil war. Not proposing regime change. I do not support such military action by our Armed Forces in Syria. The Government was proposing that we condemn the use of chemical weapons and work with the UN and our allies to deter the further use of chemical weapons in Syria. Evidence regarding who used the weapons was published.
I voted for our Government to respond to the calls for help from countries in the region, using the UN process to send a strong message to the Syrian regime that they should not use chemical weapons, that there are consequences if they do. We all want a political solution and the peace that the Syrian people so desperately need. Peace that the region so desperately needs.
During the debate the Government made it crystal clear that following the inspectors' report and after UN consideration of next steps, Parliament would have a further debate and vote on any proposed military action.
I understand that the toxic legacy of Tony Blair and the war in Iraq has left the nation scarred and sceptical. We must learn the right lessons from history. I am deeply disappointed that the House of Commons did not pass any motion at all. That the Leader of the Opposition went back on what he had agreed. That Parliament did not send a clear message to the Syrian regime condemning the use of chemical weapons.
The Prime Minister has reconfirmed his determination to work with our allies and the UN for a peaceful resolution to the current crisis as well as continuing our significant support for refuges and humanitarian aid. The Government has my full support for these actions.