‘The use of chemical weapons cannot be tolerated,’ says MP

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WATERLOOVILLE’S Conservative MP George Hollingbery has explained his reasons for voting in favour of a government motion to take action against Syria.

Politicians were asked last week if they favoured a strong humanitarian response to Syria’s alleged use of chemical weapons against its own people and support the possibility of military action.

The coalition lost a Commons vote by a majority of 13.

Mr Hollingbery told The News: ‘Like a great many of my colleagues on both sides of the House and the 60 or so constituents who have taken the time and trouble to write to me, I had deep reservations about military intervention. However, I did vote for the government’s motion because it didn’t seek authorisation for intervention, but rather for a process to be engaged in.

‘The motion made a clear commitment to follow a United Nations path to try to achieve international agreement on how to proceed before any action was contemplated and that no decision on intervention would be taken before the report of the UN inspectors in Syria to look at the issue of use of chemical weapons had been published.’

He added: ‘I won’t pretend that my vote was cast with complete confidence but, in the end, I was persuaded that doing so was a necessary step towards sending a message to the Syrian regime (and potentially others looking on) that the use of chemical weapons cannot be tolerated in a civilised world.’