December 9 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, August 29, 2013
Bury St Edmunds MP David Ruffley is gearing up to strongly question military intervention in Syria as parliament is recalled today.
He said he still bore the scars of the 2003 Iraq vote and said and he wanted to hear “clear and unambiguous” details that chemical weapons were used by President Bashar al-Assad.
He is one of 82 MPs who wrote to the prime minister earlier this summer saying Britain should not intervene in Syria, which he said was essentially a “Sunni-Shia fight club”.
“This is an Arab civil war,” he said. “My view has been all along that it is up to some of the bigger powers, Saudi Arabia and others to broker a political and diplomatic solution to what is a Syrian civil war.
“I don’t think we should be getting involved in that.”
He said: “I will be in the chamber. I will want to hear clear and unambiguous details of evidence that this alleged atrocity with chemical weapons was perpetrated by Assad’s reigme.
He said: “I was a member of parliament who voted for the Iraq war in 2003. I bear the scars of the MPs who voted for the Iraq War because I happened to believe the prime minister of the day. He said ‘I have evidence that there are weapons of mass destruction’.
“After that I said to myself that I will forever be sceptical as to what any prime minister, whoever they are, says. Taking stuff on trust is not something I am going to do in the future. I am going to see and hear the evidence and judge whether it is adequate.”
He said: “For me this goes beyond party three line whips or anything else. It is a conscience issue. I don’t care if they are minority parties, Labour, Liberal Democrats.”
He added: “I literally have yet to find anyone in my constituency, who says yes, let’s get involved with the Americans in Syria. “The overwhelming view is this is an Arab civil war and by getting involved we start putting ourselves in the middle of an incredibly local, vicious, civil war with potentially drastic consequences.
“Where will it all end? Will it involve stand offs with China, with Russia and does the PM have a clear idea once he has dipped his toe in the water with targeted missile strikes? Does he really think it will end there. Is it a one off intervention?”