Havering MPs divided over whether to bomb Isis targets in Syria
- Credit: EMPICS Sports Photo Agency
Members of Parliament are voting today on whether to support air strikes in Syria and MPs in the borough are divided on the issue.
A long and heated debate is expected to take place in Westminster today before MPs will vote on whether the UK should bomb Isis targets in Syria.
The vote is expected to last 10 hours and MPs will be asked whether the UK should join forces with allies including the USA, France and Russia in bombing Isis targets in Raqqa, the Islamist group’s stronghold.
Prime Minister David Cameron has argued that Isis is a threat to Britain’s security and is predicted to win the vote with a comfortable majority.
But MPs in the borough remain divided on the issue.
Romford MP Andrew Rosindell said he “expects” to vote with the government but he told the Recorder he will do it “with some doubts”.
Although he believes “it is important to stand by our allies”, Mr Rosindell has criticised Mr Cameron for not having “a proper strategy” that considers the wider implications of air strikes in Syria.
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He called for more countries to get involved in fighting Isis in what he argued should be “a global effort” and called for more collaboration with Russia in Syria.
He added: “We cannot defeat Isis by bombing them, so what happens next?”
Mr Rosindell argued it was “not the answer for Britain to send troops on the ground” but for Muslim countries closer to Syria to target the group.
Rainham and Dagenham MP Jon Cruddas has spoken against the air strikes.
Mr Cruddas said the debate was “not straightforward” and that although he “understand” Mr Cameron’s arguments that Isis is a threat and the UK should support the French after the Paris attacks, he is “not convinced” air strikes would weaken Isis ground forces.
He also said the case for air strikes did not include “deposing” Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad and added “the strategy of the government would do nothing to resolve the problem of homegrown jihadist elements here in the UK – and arguably could make the situation worse.”
Hornchurch and Upminster MP Dame Angela Watkinson said she will follow the Conservative Party line and said: “It is our duty to join our allies, France, Russia and the US in coalition air strikes to help keep Britain safe.”
The result of the vote is expected to be announced late tonight.