Redbridge MPs vote for defeated government motion supporting military intervention in Syria

Lee Scott, MP for Ilford North, Mike Gapes, MP for Ilford South and Iain Duncan Smith, MP for Chingf

Lee Scott, MP for Ilford North, Mike Gapes, MP for Ilford South and Iain Duncan Smith, MP for Chingford and Woodford Green. - Credit: Archant

Two Redbridge MPs voted in favour of possible military intervention in Syria last night.

Conservatives Lee Scott, MP for Ilford North, and Iain Duncan Smith, representing Chingford and Woodford Green, supported the government’s motion.

Ilford South MP Mike Gapes voted against intervention, following the Labour Party’s opposition.

The motion, which was narrowly defeated by a margin of just 13 votes, said the House of Commons “deplores” the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime and “agrees that a strong humanitarian response is required from the international community and that this may, if necessary, require military action”.

Although a further vote would have been needed, a yes vote would have paved the way for military intervention in Syria’s escalating civil war.

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In an article for the New Statesman, Mr Gapes had argued for action after an apparent gas attack on civilians in Damascus.

He wrote: “Intervention is now necessary. The use of chemical weapons must be stopped.

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“This does not mean British or western boots on the ground. Nor should we be taking sides in a complicated civil war by providing sophisticated lethal weaponry to elements of the divided Syrian opposition.”

Mr Scott said he was waiting to see a report by United Nations weapons inspectors but added: “If chemical weapons have been used, and it does certainly seem that way, it has to be stopped – and that’s for whoever has done it.”

In an email to constituents, Mr Cryer said he was opposed to intervention but was not present for the House of Commons vote.

He wrote: “No evidence has been produced as to who perpetrated the recent gas attack yet it seems we are about to intervene in a civil war without a UN resolution and without a clear basis.”

A special advisor for Iain Duncan Smith said the Chingford and Woodford Green MP would not be making any statements on the situation.

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