Recall of Parliament

There has been a special sitting of Parliament to debate the ongoing crisis in the Middle East, and to look at the possible involvement of British Forces in air strikes against the group that call themselves Islamic State (IS).

I know this is an issue that many have passionate feelings about on both sides, and I am glad MPs have been brought back to highlight the views of the people of the country before any decision is taken.

IS are a murderous organisation that are not only taking British hostages, but are devastating a region that has been blighted for so long by war.

There is no doubt that this group is one that will make life for those in Iraq and the Middle East far worse, and having been asked directly for help by the Iraqi Prime Minister, I believe it is right that the UK responds to that call, and that we today vote in favour of giving ourselves the option to use military force.
The leader of the Labour Party, Ed Miliband, has been clear on the point that no ground troops will be committed, and that military action can only be acceptable if it is the very last resort, if it has local support, and if it has a chance of success.

This has been the most difficult decision I have had to make in my time in Parliament. I voted against going to war in Syria last year but I think that the situation and the threat to Britain has changed. It is therefore, unfortunately, necessary to intervene. But is it a heavy decision to take.

We know that military action alone will not defeat IS. That’s why the international community’s current military response is just one element of a longer-term diplomatic strategy in the region.

We must continue to support an inclusive, sovereign and democratic Iraqi government that can push back on IS advances and restore stability and security. This outcome will benefit both us at home, as well as those suffering these horrors every day in Iraq.

We must further ensure that we work closely with Muslims in this country who are also horrified at the actions of IS in the name of their religion. Part of the horror at the actions of the IS beheadings has been the fact that the murderers spoke with British accents.

You can read the full text of the Parliamentary Motion here.


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