Harrogate and Knaresborough MP to support air strikes in Iraq tomorrow

Harrogate and Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones.Harrogate and Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones.
Harrogate and Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones.
Ahead of the recall of Parliament tomorrow, the MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough told the Harrogate Advertiser he will be supporting the motion to launch air strikes in Iraq.

The Prime Minister David Cameron and leader of the opposition Ed Miliband are supporting UK military involvement in the country in response to the threat from Islamic State.

Once MPs approve the motion, which follows a request for help from the Iraqi government, Britain will send aircraft to Iraq.

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Harrogate and Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones told the Harrogate Advertiser this afternoon: “Parliament has been recalled and will sit from 10.30am to 5pm tomorrow. I will be there from the start.

“There will be a motion to the house and the Prime Minister will be giving a statement about using British forces, air forces, to participate in a coalition of countries to tackle Islamic State.

“I will be supporting this activity.”

There will be no discussion on military action in Syria, however, and, speaking in New York, Mr Cameron said there would be ‘no boots on the ground’.

Mr Jones said: “The motion is very clear on two things: there will be no boots on the ground and there will be no activity in Syria.

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“I think it is very likely that we will stick by that. The matter would have to come back to Parliament to get further approval and I don’t think there is any appetite for it.

“This is about specific activity to support a legitimate government in Iraq with a major insurgency that has caused huge problems.”

The decision to take part in military action in Iraq in response to the threat of Islamic State, also known as IS, ISIS, or ISIL, has received cross-party support.

UK air strikes will also be part of a joint international effort to defeat Islamic State in Iraq, and the substantive motion to be discussed tomorrow is part of wider British cooperation in the Middle East.

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Mr Cameron is the first prime minister to meet the Iranian President since 1979 after he discussed how Iran could also support Iraq with the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

“These things are taken literally and we are looking at the challenge of ISIL and countries have to come together to deal with it,” Mr Jones said.

“The encouraging part of this is that we have lots of countries working together in support of the legitimate Iraqi government. That is most important because you cannot impose a solution.

“The long terms solutions are political rather than military. That is why working with local governments is important.”