Gwent MPs' fears over military action in Syria
10:31am Thursday 29th August 2013 in News
THREE Gwent MPs have expressed concerns over military action in Syria ahead of the recall of parliament today.
Prime Minister David Cameron is expected to lay out the case for intervention in the country’s civil war in a Commons debate on Thursday.
Now Torfaen MP Paul Murphy has raised questions over whether military action can improve the situation.
Newport West MP Paul Flynn has said he will vote against getting involved, while David Davies, MP for Monmouth, said we should keep out of the conflict.
Mr Cameron has stated any intervention in Syria would not be about the conflict itself but preventing the use of chemical weapons, after chemical attacks left hundreds dead.
Former Labour Welsh secretary Paul Murphy argued the international community should do “all it can to lessen the suffering of the Syrian people”.
“However, questions remain about what military action can do to make things better rather than worse,” the Torfaen MP said.
Mr Murphy said he will be listening “carefully to what the government has to say about exactly what sort of action is proposed and how they think it will work, about the involvement of the UN and about what evidence the weapons inspectors and other intelligence have found about the use of chemical weapons.”
Mr Flynn, who is well known for his stance against the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, told the Argus military action has nothing to do “with the interests of the UK – this is about embarrassment to Obama”.
“I will almost certainly be voting that we don’t get involved. We will be throwing petrol on a blazing fire,” he said.
The stalwart Labour MP hoped Labour would not impose a three-line whip on a vote in the debate tomorrow. The Newport MP said such a whip had been used during a Commons debate on Iraq ten years ago, but was ignored by 139 Labour MPs who voted against going to war.
Tory Monmouth MP David Davies, who has said he would oppose any action to topple Bashar al-Assad, told the Argus yesterday: “I’m going to listen to what the Prime Minister and the foreign secretary have to say with great interest.”
“My instinct is to keep out of it,” Mr Davies added.
Jessica Morden, Labour MP for Newport East, has said she “will listen to both sides of the debate before making a decision.”
Nick Smith, Labour MP for Blaenau Gwent, said he was unable to comment because he is a Parliamentary Private Secretary to Douglas Alexander, shadow foreign secretary.
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