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Local MPs have their say ahead of Syria vote

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Crucial vote to be held today on extending air strikes

The region’s MPs have told Newbury Today how they intend to vote ahead of today's crucial vote in parliament on whether Britain should join France, Russia and the USA in conducting airstrikes in Syria targeting so-called Islamic State.

Parliament first voted on furthering air strikes in August 2013, a motion that was defeated 272 votes to 285.

Now, ahead of the parliamentary vote which is expected to take place at 10.30pm local MPs have offered their thoughts on how they will vote.

Newbury MP Richard Benyon says he is a firm yes voter.

He said: “It’s one of the most important things that I as a Member of Parliament have to do.

“I am naturally cautious, even sceptical about any military intervention. However, on this occasion I have to say that the Prime Minister made a very compelling case in his statement to the House of Commons on November 26.

“I have the firm belief that in this vote I will be taking an action that will help protect people here in the United Kingdom including the thousands of my constituents who travel every day to London.

“We all need to destroy an enemy willing to use medieval barbarity against Muslim, Christians, aid workers and other innocent people in Syria and of course in Europe too.”

North West Hampshire MP and fellow Conservative Kit Malthouse told Newbury Weekly News that after careful thought and discussions with fellow politicians he too would be backing the government and voting for air strikes.

He said: “I am going to support the Government. It took an awful lot of thought but obviously we our duty bound to protect our people.”

Reading West MP Alok Sharma confirmed in a statement that he too would be voting yes later this evening.

Not all Conservative MPs are so certain they will be following their prime minster at the crucial vote, however.

Wokingham MP John Redwood said: “I haven’t made up my mind.

“I am going to listen to the issues put forward to the government and take part in the debate.

“My concern is that bombing clearly won’t do the job on its own.”

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