This Tory MP is defying Cameron on Syria bombing, because his Middle Eastern friend said this …

Chris Court-Dobson

Edward Leigh, Conservative MP for Gainsborough in Lincolnshire, along with five Labour MPs, has tabled a motion rejecting the government’s plans for airstrikes in Syria on the grounds that it does not represent:

a coherent and comprehensive military strategy that has a real chance of successfully eradicating [Isis].

With visible emotion, he addressed parliament on the eve of the vote, saying that before the debate he had spoken to an Arab friend to ask him his honest opinion of the proposed attacks.

In Leigh’s words, his friend said: “I do not think you guys, in parliament, are being honest about this.” His friend, who remains unnamed, went on to say, “if you want to go to war because the UK has been asked by its allies then you should do that”. But then said:

Know that if you do you probably will not make things any better, and you could make things a lot worse.

In a heartfelt, yet tentative speech, which he opened by saying he was “full of doubts”, Ed Leigh cited his reasons why he was not in favour of airstrikes and said that to secure his vote, Phillip Hammond, the foreign secretary, would have to convince him that the government is acting in self-defence and that there is a “command and control centre in Raqqa, directly threatening London.”

He said he needed assurance it would be a “just war” and that the government should act “with deep humanity”.

Neither of these things seems likely.

Livestreamed here.

Featured image from edwardleigh.org.uk.

We need your help ...

The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.

Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.

We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.

Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed