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Havering MPs split over Syria air strikes after vote

PUBLISHED: 09:22 03 December 2015 | UPDATED: 09:30 03 December 2015

MPs gather in the House of Commons for a debate on extending the bombing campaign against Islamic State to Syria

MPs gather in the House of Commons for a debate on extending the bombing campaign against Islamic State to Syria

PA/Press Association Images

UK air strikes on Isis targets in Syria were launched after MPs approved action on Wednesday evening.

Havering’s MPs were divided. After more than 10 hours of debate in parliament Dame Angela Watkinson supported strikes alongside Andrew Rosindell – who admitted reservations – while Jon Cruddas opposed the military action.

Prime Minister David Cameron argued Isis is a threat to Britain’s security and the country should support France after the Paris attacks by joining it in bombing terrorist targets.

Romford MP Mr Rosindell said he voted with the government but he told the Recorder he did 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”, which would considers the wider implications of air strikes in Syria.

He called for more countries to join the fight against 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 is “not the answer for Britain to send troops on the ground” but for Muslim countries closer to Syria to target the Islamist group.

Rainham and Dagenham MP Mr Cruddas voted against the air strikes and said he was concerned they could further radicalise “homegrown jihadists”.

Mr Cruddas said the debate was “not straightforward” and that although he “understood” Mr Cameron’s argument he was “not convinced” air strikes would weaken Isis ground forces.

He also argued 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 followed the Conservative Party line and said air strikes were a matter of “duty” that would “help keep Britain safe”.

The UK has now joined forces with allies including the USA, France and Russia in bombing Isis targets in Syria.

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