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How East Lancashire's MPs voted on Syria
9:00pm Friday 30th August 2013 in News
EAST Lancashire MPs were divided on whether the UK should intervene in Syria.
MPs voted down the Prime Minister’s plan for military intervention against the use of chemical weapons, but the Government only lost by thirteen votes.
Conservative MPs Jake Berry and Andrew Stephenson voted in favour of military intervention, while Labour MPs Jack Straw and Graham Jones voted against the plan.
Gordon Birtwistle was one of the Liberal Democrat MPs who rebelled against the government by also voting no to the motion.
As deputy speakers of the House of Commons Chorley MP Lindsay Hoyle and Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans were unable to vote in the debate.
Burnley MP Mr Birtwistle said: “I believe it was the right outcome. There were far too many loose ends. It’s far too easy to press the button to go but it wasn’t clear what would happen once we’d done that.
“We could turn a bad dream into a nightmare. I made it clear that I was always going to vote aganist it and I did.”
Blackburn MP Mr Straw spoke in the debate on Thursday night.
In Parliament he said: “My conclusion at the moment is that the Government have yet to prove their case. I think we are clear that chemical weapons were used, but we will get more information on that from the inspectors.”
Speaking after the debate he said: “I am not opposed to military action in any circumstances but the case wasn’t made for this action and the process was incoherent.
“I was also struck by the concern of people in Blackburn about what we might be getting into.”
Mr Stephenson, MP for Pendle said: “I thought it was a victory for parliament, that was a positive outcome, and I welcome that both the Prime Minister gave parliament the opportunity to vote on the issue, and that he has agreed to abide by that decision.
“I was deeply sceptical about military intervention but I supported the government motion on the day because it focussed on using the United Nations route, and bringing the issue back before parliament for a second vote if there was to be any military intervention.”
Mr Berry said: “I strongly believe in the need for a tough response to the use of chemical weapons, but I also believe in respecting the will of the House of Commons.”
Mr Evans said: “This shows that we have a vibrant democracy.”
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