There is no more important decision a country can take than to commit our armed forces to military action and I can assure you this is not a decision that I, or any Member of Parliament, take lightly.
I know that the appalling brutality of ISIL – including taking British aid workers hostage and their campaign of atrocities against people of all religions and nationalities – will have shocked many people in our constituency and across Britain.
As you know, the House of Commons was recalled on Friday 26th September to consider whether the UK should agree to the request by the Iraqi Government to join the coalition of countries – including those in the region – that are taking part in air strikes against ISIL in Iraq. After carefully considering both sides of the argument, I decided to vote against the Government’s proposal for our air force to join air strikes in Iraq against ISIL.
I believe we must focus on wider political and diplomatic strategy in the region – in particular providing ongoing support for an inclusive and democratic Iraqi Government that can combat ISIL and restore stability and security.
To read the House of Common’s debate in full, go to: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmhansrd/cm140926/debtext/140926-0001.htm#1409266000001