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Borough MPs' alarm over Parliament being sidelined on Syria

PM Theresa May
PM Theresa May

MPs from the borough have expressed their concern Parliament was not consulted before the recent airstrikes on Syria.


Makerfield MP Yvonne Fovargue and Leigh parliamentary representative Jo Platt both condemned the use of chemical weapons as investigations are under way around their deployment in Douma.

However, they said it was for MPs to decide what is done next rather than Prime Minister Theresa May simply agreeing to military action with other international leaders.

They also expressed doubt as to how aiming missiles at targets associated with chemical weapons production would help bring an end to the appalling conflict which has destroyed much of the Middle Eastern country or prevent it escalating further.

Ms Fovargue said: “The government’s decision to support intervention and expand its military campaign in Syria should have been brought to Parliament, and they should have been obliged to explain their strategy for the future of this conflict.

“I support the call by the UN Secretary General for a wider and fully independent investigation of the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

“I remain very concerned that the military action represents a dangerous and unpredictable escalation, risks spreading the conflict and increasing and prolonging the suffering of the Syrian people.

“Reports from Douma point to an attack having been carried out with chemical weapons, in full contravention of international humanitarian law.

“The evidence of the deaths and suffering inflicted by the attack, including on young children, is horrific and those responsible must be held to account.

“Both the Assad regime and Isis have been held responsible for the use of chemical weapons since the start of the Syrian conflict, a war crime which I utterly condemn.”

Ms Platt said: “Parliament should have decided our response to this heinous act and whether military action was appropriate.

“By failing to consult Parliament prior to action, the Prime Minister is restricting our democracy. The action she took over the weekend represents a major part of our foreign policy which Parliament deserved to have been consulted on with a debate and a vote.

“For MPs to read what the UK’s response was by Donald Trump’s tweets is clearly unacceptable.

“A military response was not the only action available. Just as the use of chemical weapons should not be normalised, neither should a military response following a humanitarian crisis."