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Burnham politicians clash over action on Syria
4:52pm Friday 6th September 2013 in News
BURNHAM and Highbridge MP Tessa Munt has been accused of taking “the easy way out” by abstaining in the crucial vote on whether Britain should take military action against Syria.
MPs last week voted by 285 to 272 not to take action, amid debate as to whether there was enough evidence to prove who was behind chemical weapons attacks in the Middle East country.
As the Weekly News went to press, Prime Minister David Cameron had ruled out a second vote in the Commons.
James Heappey, Conservative candidate for Burn-ham and Highbridge at the next General Election, said: “I respect those who take an opposing view to my own and voted in accordance with their conscience but abstention is just the easy way out.
“It lets others do the deciding, it lets others wrestle with their consciences and it lets others take the flack.
“It means you can try to be on both sides of the argument but actually you are on neither.
“It was the easy way out on tuition fees and it is now the easy way out on Syria.”
Mr Heappey said he hopes the USA and France would now “stand up” for Syria.
Ms Munt said she feared military action without UN backing could “inflame” tensions in the region, adding: “The suffering of citizens throughout the civil war has been appalling.
“The use of chemical weapons is abhorrent and should it be proven that Assad’s regime was behind their use, he and the others responsible must be punished.
“Many countries within the Arab League need to be encouraged and assisted in their efforts to bring Syria back into line.
“There are many links and networks – through trade, culture, faith, history – and the UK, Europe and the USA should use their experience to explore every possible avenue to find a solution.
“The UK should continue its huge humanitarian efforts in the region.
“Military action, particularly without the full backing of an UN resolution could, in my view, inflame an already tense situation.”