MP says bombing Syria is “the right thing to do”

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South West Beds MP Andrew Selous has explained his reasons for backing the government’s motion for UK air strikes against Islamic State targets in Syria.

The motion was carried by 397 votes to 223, after a 10-hour Commons debate on Wednesday night.

Mr Selous, who represents Leighton Buzzard, Dunstable, Houghton Regis and surrounding villages, said he believed supporting the motion was “absolutely the right thing to do”.

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He said: “We know there have been seven attempts by ISIL to attack us within the UK in the last year or so. We need ground forces to finish the job, but the longer our delay [with air strikes] the stronger ISIL will get.”

Andrew Selous MPAndrew Selous MP
Andrew Selous MP

The MP said air strikes would not heighten the risk of a terrorist attack in Britain. “They attack us because of who were are and not what we do,” he said.

Mr Selous said failing to act would be in breach of the UN resolution where countries had pledged to take every possible action to eradicate IS.

He added there was also the need to be loyal to Britain’s allies. “The country reacted incredibly well when Paris was hit. They have asked for our help as close neighbours and allies.

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“We have got the right to say ‘no’, but if in the future, God forbid, we get hit and we need their help, why should they help us if we didn’t help them?”

A total of 66 Labour MPs sided with the government as David Cameron secured a larger than expected Commons majority.

The PM said they had “taken the right decision to keep the country safe”.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had said the case for war did “not stack up”.

Luton MPs, Gavin Shuker and Kelvin Hopkins, voted against air strikes, while Mid Beds MP Nadine Dorries backed the government’s motion.