Syria air strikes: How did Redbridge MPs vote?

MPs gather in the House of Commons for a debate on extending the bombing campaign against Islamic St

MPs gather in the House of Commons for a debate on extending the bombing campaign against Islamic State to Syria - Credit: PA WIRE

UK air strikes on Isis targets in Syria were launched after MPs approved action on Wednesday evening.

Redbridge’s MPs were divided. After more than 10 hours of debate in parliament Iain Duncan-Smith supported strikes while Wes Streeting and John Cryer opposed the military action – Mike Gapes was unable to vote.

Prime Minister David Cameron argued Isis is a threat to Britain’s security and the country should support France after the Paris attacks by joining it in bombing terrorist targets.

Ilford North MP Wes Streeting outlined in a letter to his constituents last week why he believed he should vote against the UK bombing Isis targets in Syria.

Mr Streeting told the Recorder there were “powerful arguments on both sides” but he was not convinced by the government’s arguments and made a decision after which he could “still see myself in the mirror” (see his View From the House column in the Recorder).

He said: “That is the democratic decision of the commons and I hope the RAF is successful and the armed forces remain safe.”

Mr Streeting added he welcomed the free vote, which allowed Labour MPs to vote following their consciences, and said he received a large number of emails from constituents urging him not to support military action.

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Ilford South MP Mike Gapes is still recovering following emergency surgery after suffering chest pains over the weekend. There is no proxy vote for MPs debating in the House of Commons and Mr Gapes was unable to participate in the vote.

A spokesman from his parliamentary office said: “It is unlikely that Mike will be allowed to leave hospital so soon after his operation and so will not be voting.”

Before his operation, Mr Gapes said he was supporting air strikes in Syria.

Wanstead and Leyton MP John Cryer, who voted against bombing Syria, said: “We are in danger of getting involved in this mess and it is not going to do anyone any good,” warning having troops on the ground would not, he believes, be supported by the British public.

He told the Recorder “the more I listened to the debate, the less I was convinced,” and added he was “surprised” to learn air strikes had started so shortly after the vote, which he described as “questionable”.

Woodford Green and Chingford MP Iain Duncan Smith said he was part of the government and would therefore support the government and that the decision would be in “the national interest to answer the call from our allies” and was “the right thing to do to help to keep Britain safe”.

The UK has now joined forces with allies including the USA, France and Russia in bombing Isis targets in Syria.

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