MP backs Iraq air attacks

Stephen Lloyd MP SUS-140929-093942001
Stephen Lloyd MP SUS-140929-093942001

The decision by the coalition government last week to take military action against the terrorist group Islamic State in Iraq was backed by Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd.

The Liberal Democrat voted in favour of the United Kingdom becoming involved at the debate in Westminster.

He said, “I voted in support of the Government’s motion. This means the RAF will be able to attack IS targets in Iraq.

“I appreciate this will not please everyone but I will briefly attempt to explain why, on balance, I believe it was the right thing to do:

“Let us have no illusions over what IS is. IS is a brutal, racist, nihilistic group that have taken fundamentalism to a new dreadful level. “Their creed is very simple – support us or be killed.

“Sadly we have already seen that with the shocking treatment of the Yazidis, Kurds, Christians and Shia Muslims who refused to convert, or even the dreadful images of their treatment of the Western hostages. I simply do not believe we can ignore this group or their behaviour.

“Many constituents who contacted me raised concerns over the legitimacy of engagement and fears that ‘mission creep’ may see us dragged into conflict in Syria. Our intervention is legal under international law as we have been invited by the democratically elected Iraqi government. In other words we are not attacking Iraq but defending it against a shockingly brutal aggressor.

“In addition, the Prime Minister made it clear that no British ground troops will be involved and that if any action were to be taken in Syria, it will have to come back to the House for another vote.

“Our efforts will also be part of a broad alliance of states, not just with other Western allies but other Sunni Arab States in the region. I have also received assurances that our humanitarian efforts will be re-doubled; both were key factors for my support. This was a difficult decision and my view on the mood of the House was the debate could best be summed as subdued yet determined.

“Whatever the merits of the decision, however, I know the thoughts and prayers of Eastbourne are with the RAF pilots now taking action as a result of Parliament’s resolution.”