UPDATE: Calderdale MPs prepare for Syria debate

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem speaks during a press conference, in Damascus, Syria
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem speaks during a press conference, in Damascus, Syria
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Halifax MP Linda Riordan and Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker are preparing to return to a reconvened Parliament tomorrow for a debate and vote on military intervention in Syria.

Mrs Riordan has already voiced her concern about military intervention.

“I head to Parliament very sceptical that military intervention will help,” she said.

“It could just make a terrible situation worse.

“The recent chemical weapons attack was an abomination, but inspectors should be given time to investigate the attack in depth.

“We don’t want dragging into another ill-considered conflict in the region and therefore I am set to vote against military action when the house divides tomorrow evening.”

Mr Whittaker also expressed outrage at recent events but reserved his judgment until after tomorrow’s debate.

“I will listen to the debate and the Prime Minister,” he said.

“We don’t yet know all the options that are being considered and the evidence to take any form of action.

“I will make a decision at the end of tomorrow.”

Mr Whittaker said thousands of women and children are fleeing into Jordan.

“For me, if you know children are being assaulted, killed or gassed, as a neighbour you should take some form of action,” he said.

“Gassing your own people is a step too far. I will be listening to the evidence and how legal any proposed action is.”

The Prime Minister has stressed no decision had yet been made on any British action following the reported use of chemical weapons on civilians in Damascus, adding that the Commons was the “right place to set out all of the arguments, all of the questions”.

Mr Cameron said the debate would ensure “proper” scrutiny and allow the Government to listen to MPs.

The decision to summon MPs back to Westminster followed cross-party calls for a recall as international tensions over the crisis came to a head over the weekend.

Syrian president Bashar Assad denies launching a chemical attack and the regime has warned it would defend itself against any military action.

Former Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell said there was concern about any military response and its consequences: “The Prime Minister will have to make a convincing case if he is to persuade not only his own backbenchers but the House as well.”

The last time Parliament was recalled early was in April for tributes to Margaret Thatcher. MPs were recalled twice in the 2011 summer recess – for a statement about phone hacking and again after the August riots broke out.

Other incidents that have led to a recall included debates on Iraq, the 9/11 terrorist attacks and subsequent military action and the death of the Queen Mother.

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