MP has say on Syria air strikes after protest is held in Leamington

Labour party members have gathered in Leamington to protest against the recent air strikes on Syria in which the UK was involved.

Monday, 16th April 2018, 2:57 pm
Updated Monday, 16th April 2018, 5:01 pm
Labour party members gathered at Leamington Town Hall on Sunday to protest against the Syria air strikes. MP Matt Western (pictured) has had his say on the issue.

They held the protest outside Leamington Town Hall on Sunday.

And Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western has issued a statement regarding his stance on the current situation which Prime Minister Theresa May is answering questions in Parliament today

He said: "The reports from Syria last weekend point to an horrific attack having been carried out using chemical weapons on the civilian population in Douma, in full contravention of international humanitarian law.

Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western

"Both the Assad regime and Isis have been held responsible for the use of chemical weapons in the past since the start of the Syrian conflict, a war crime which I totally condemn.

"In this context, I very much welcome the investigation being carried out there by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), and call for their inspectors to have full access to the site.

"It is wrong for this attack to have been authorised before any independent report by either the OPCW or any renewed UN investigation. They are there for a reason and their findings particularly important given the absence of a unanimous UN Security Council resolution.

"For those reasons, and the very real threat of conflict escalation, I do not support the action by the UK, US and French Governments. At best it will be viewed as a gesture condemning the Syrian Government but its value is questionable as evidenced by the US intervention this time last year. Nothing changed.

Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western

"So it is extremely disappointing that the UK Government should have acted without reference to Parliament: this is a dangerous, punitive action without a strategy. More so, as it is also clear that there is some division in the US administration about the ‘sustainability’ of these attacks.

"This legally questionable action, as US defence secretary James Mattis has admitted, risks escalating further an already devastating conflict and therefore makes real accountability for war crimes and use of chemical weapons less, not more likely.

"Further, it risks increasing the suffering of the Syrian people, including to the point of direct conflict between US and Russian forces.

"Britain should be playing a leadership role to bring about a ceasefire in the conflict, not taking instructions from Twitter and putting British military personnel in harm’s way.

"The Government should do whatever is possible to push Russia and the United States to agree to an independent UN-led investigation of last weekend’s horrific chemical weapons attack so that those responsible can be held to account.

"What is now urgently needed is a coordinated international drive to achieve a ceasefire, de-escalation and a negotiated political settlement under UN auspices.

"The humanitarian priority must be to halt the killing on all sides."