Find out how MPs for Royston and South Cambs voted on air strikes in Syria

Sir Oliver Heald

Sir Oliver Heald - Credit: Archant

Both North East Herts MP Sir Oliver Heald and South Cambridgeshire MP Heidi Allen voted in favour of carrying out air strikes in Syria, a decision which was approved after 10 hours of debate last night in the House of Commons.

Heidi Allen

Heidi Allen - Credit: Archant

Royston MP Sir Oliver Heald told the Crow why he voted in favour of military action in Syria.

The Conservative said: “Our allies want RAF precision bombing because it reduces civilian casualties, as in Iraq where there have been none, but where ISIL have lost a third of their territory.

“The terrorists are planning their attacks on Britain from their base in Syria, so it is right in self-defence to try to stop them.

“We are already top of their target list, so the UK is not taking on extra risk by attacking them. They attack us because the UK stands for the things they hold in contempt such as democracy, liberty, equality for women and the rule of law.

“It will help the peace process in Vienna if ISIL is weakened and the moderate opposition strengthened.

“Air strikes alone will not finish ISIL, but it will weaken them, save civilian lives, make it more difficult to plan attacks against the UK, stop them attacking the moderates, and support the peace process.”

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Fellow Conservative MP Heidi Allen also spoke to the Crow about why she voted in favour of the air strikes, which she said was one of the most significant decisions she has made since becoming an MP at May’s General Election.

She said: “After a great deal of thought, speaking to and listening to many experts, I decided to support the Prime Minister’s proposals.

“I believed that David Cameron proposed a comprehensive response to the threat we face from Daesh here in the UK as well as dealing with them in the territories they control in Syria.

“The Prime Minister’s proposal was comprised of four key elements. Firstly, a counter-extremism strategy to prevent and foil plots at home and to address the extremist ideology.

“Secondly, our support for the diplomatic and political process – being part of the UN resolution with the ultimate goal of removing Assad through political transition.

“Thirdly, military action in Syria to degrade Daesh. And finally, immediate humanitarian support and longer-term stabilisation.

“We have already given £1.1 billion, the largest commitment of any European country, second only to the United States. We are prepared to contribute at least another £1bn for this task.

“Difficult a conclusion though it was to reach, I believe this comprehensive strategy was the right one and as such supported military intervention in Syria.”

MPs voted overwhelmingly in favour of the air strikes last night, by 397 votes to 223.

After the vote, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn – who voted against the air strikes – tweeted: “British service men and women will now be in harm’s way and the loss of innocent lives is sadly almost inevitable.”