Harrogate MP backs Cameron's call for air strikes in Syria

Andrew Jones at Harrogate Hustings
Andrew Jones at Harrogate Hustings

Andrew Jones, MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough, says he will back David Cameron’s call for launching UK air strikes against Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria.

The prime minister made his case for military action during a debate in the Commons on Thursday, November 26, stating the move would ‘make us safer’.

While there is no date set nor the certainity of a free Commons vote on Syria air strikes, Mr Jones was in doubt which side he would be taking given the chance.

“I have been following the situation closely. The reach of ISIL has grown and we have already seen what they are capable of,” the Conservative MP said.

“They have brought down a plane in Egypt and committed horrific attacks in Paris. We have pushed them back in Iraq but we should be taking action to push them back further.

“The case that was put forward by Mr Cameron was wide-ranging, it was not just about military power. It was also about working with people in the region as well as humanitarian approaches.

“It was broadly quite welcomed by most MPs so my intention would be to support that. We should not be sitting by when we have the means to take it further so we should be joining other Western powers.”

MPs were told by Mr Cameron that IS have already tried to attack Britain and that security could not just be outsourced to allies.

Labour is still split over its position to military action with leader Jerermy Corbyn questioning whether this would reduce and counter the threat.

Backbench Conservative MPs have already blocked one attempt to launch air strikes in Syria in 2013 but Mr Jones believes the same outcome would serve as a coup for IS.

He said: “We know a few don’t back action but their reach is getting bigger and we know they are not trying to make a political point like other groups have done in the past.

“They just want to kill people. We know they want to have people over there go back into Western Europe, back into our own country to cause problems here.

“We need to fight back and that’s why I support it. The impact of the Iraq War is one of the biggest influences on that reaction and there’s still a hangover from that.

“It’s obviously cast a large shadow over the region but it would be a weakness for us to stay in the wilderness over this.”