Warning over decision to reject Syria action

'DEEPLY SAD' Penny Mordaunt
'DEEPLY SAD' Penny Mordaunt
Councillor Luke Stubbs

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Penny Mordaunt has warned of repercussions following parliament’s decision to reject the UK taking action against Syria.

Politicians were asked if they favoured a ‘strong humanitarian response’ to Syria’s use of chemical weapons and support the possibility of military action.

But, on Thursday night, the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition lost a Commons vote by a majority of 13.

Ms Mordaunt, the Conservative MP for Portsmouth North, said the decision could force America to take action on its own.

She said it also sent a message to other countries that the UK wasn’t prepared to act when international laws were broken.

Ms Mordaunt said: ‘The result of the defeat was that we are less likely to achieve a consensus from the international community and a unified voice from the UN, that the US and possibly France will create their own timetable for a response separate from the UN, and that we have planted the seeds of doubt that the UK is prepared to consider sanctions when international law is broken.

‘I am deeply sad as I think we have weakened our own national security and have made the humanitarian crisis in Syria worse by our stance.’

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage said she supported the motion but did not favour military action.

‘I am in an area where there are people who would be sent to do that job, so I take any decision about military action very seriously,’ she said.

Fareham MP Mark Hoban supported the government because he felt the Syrian regime should not be allowed to get away with what it’s doing.

‘I don’t believe that President Assad and the Syrian regime should use chemical weapons without facing the consequences,’ he said.

‘I just hope that this isn’t a sign that parliament and the British people are turning their backs on the rest of the world.’

Meon Valley MP George Hollingbery voted with the government but only because the motion made clear it wanted to follow a United Nations path, not intervene.

Havant MP David Willetts voted in favour of the motion, while Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock was against it.