Midlothian MP votes against
UK airstrikes in Syria

Midlothian MP Owen Thompson
Midlothian MP Owen Thompson

Midlothian’s MP called on the Prime Minister not to repeat the mistakes of the past during last week’s Commons debate on air strikes in Syria.

Owen Thompson (SNP) was one of 223 MPs to against the military action following the ten-hour debate. The government motion received 397 votes.

SNP members and other opposition party members urged David Cameron not to give the green light to military action in Syria without a comprehensive and credible plan to win peace. 

Mr Thompson said: “I have had hundreds of emails regarding the vote. A staggering 96 per cent of them have urged me not to support bombing Syria.

“There is no shortage of countries already bombing Syria. Most recently the Russians have been attacking Daesh (the name used by the UK government for ISIS) and too often the moderate opposition to Assad as well. 

“The influential Foreign Affairs Committee took a wide range of evidence from military experts, academics, lawyers, the Foreign Secretary and Syrian groups. As a result a number of questions were presented to the Prime Minister and a majority of committee members agreed that these questions had not been answered.

“On stabilising and rebuilding, we are advised by the World Bank that it will cost $170 billion dollars to rebuild Syria.

“The Prime Minister has made a commitment to contribute £1bn towards this mammoth task which is welcome. We are entitled to ask whether a contribution of less than 1 per cent is realistically going to be enough.”

Mr Thompson added that 72 per cent of Scots were opposed to airstrikes. Fifty-seven out of 59 Scottish MPs voted No.

“In any normal country, under normal circumstances, Scotland would not be involved, yet Scottish forces – from RAF Lossiemouth – will be deployed to bomb Syria.

“I am clear that my vote is representative not only of the wishes of Scotland but also of my own constituents.”