MP: ‘Why I voted to extend our air strikes into Syria’

Matt Warman. (Photo: Daily Telegraph)
Matt Warman. (Photo: Daily Telegraph)

The MP for Boston and Skegness has explained why he voted last week in favour of extending British air strikes against ISIL into Syria.

Matt Warman was among 397 members who voted in favour of the action following a 10-hour-plus debate in Parliament on Wednesday, compared to 223 against.

The RAF has already carried out air strikes against ISIL (also known as Islamic State, Daesh or ISIS) in Iraq. Wednesday’s vote asked for air strikes to be extended into Syria.

The Government describe the group as ‘a terrorist organisation that claims to represent Islam, but it uses the banner of religion to carry out barbaric atrocities’.

In a statement to The Standard after the vote, Mr Warman said: “I voted to extend air strikes as I believe Daesh must be destroyed wherever we find it, and that means challenging them in both Iraq and Syria. It is artificial to imagine that Daesh stops pursuing its horrific agenda simply because of an international border, and indeed we know that their headquarters are in Raqqa.

“It speaks volumes that our first air strike last week hit an oil field - we are tackling Daesh funding as well as its fighters.”

He added: “I am pleased that the Prime Minister’s plan also addresses the longer term stabilisation of Syria, so that we can help to build a country which is not sustainable to Daesh’s abhorrent ideology.

“We will also continue to provide humanitarian support to the region, so far having given £1.1 billion.”

At the start of the session, Prime Minister David Cameron said: “The question before the House today is how we keep the British people safe from the threat posed by ISIL. Let me be clear from the outset that this is not about whether we want to fight terrorism but about how best we do that.”

Leader of the Opposition Jeremy Corbyn said extending air strikes would be ‘yet another ill-fated twist in this never-ending war on terror’.