Over the past few weeks I have received many letters, emails, texts and tweets about the situation in Syria. This response is a reply to all Labour Party members and constituents that have contacted me. I have had close to three thousand pieces of correspondence on this issue.
A week ago the Prime Minister came to the House of Commons and made the case for expanding air strikes into Syria. I don’t believe he made the case.
Last night I voted against air strikes in Syria.
It was one of the most difficult decisions I have ever had to make.
To be completely honest with you, I’m not even sure who will be proved right in the end.
ISIL/Daesh are a truly appalling terrorist group and it is clear that they pose a serious threat, both to the people of Iraq and Syria and to British citizens at home and abroad.
There were many passionate speeches made in the House of Commons by colleagues from all parties both for and against action. Indeed we had different views within our own front bench.
Here is a link to Jeremy’s speech, it begins at 12:29.
Here is a link to Hilary Benn’s speech.
The one thing that stands out for me is the way that people have been treated. I have been called both a murderer and a terrorist sympathiser, as have many of my colleagues.
Indeed, some Labour MPs have even been threatened with deselection because of the way they voted.
I strongly support all my Labour colleagues. Our leader, Jeremy Corbyn, was against the air strikes but believed that it should be a free vote. This allowed individuals to vote with their moral conscience. I hope that all Lewisham Deptford residents will agree that bullying of any sort is just not acceptable.
Thank you once again to everyone who has contacted me about this issue.