More could have been done to solve the crisis in Syria
Rutherglen MP Margaret Ferrier says more could have been done to solve the crisis in Syria without resorting to military intervention.
The SNP member was speaking after last week’s vote in the Commons which took Britain into war against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in the Middle Eastern country.
“My party decided its position would be to oppose the motion for air strikes in Syria,”she said.
“But it wouldn’t have mattered to me what the party line was going to be – I would have voted against military action anyway.”
“I have always been pro human rights and a supporter of CND – anything that promotes peace – so it is part of my ethos,”she said.
And Ms Ferrier maintains that the there has been an overwhelming level of support for her position on the vote from local people who contacted her.
“Around 95 per cent of those who have contacted me urged me to oppose air strikes.
“So I am confident that I have represented my constituents in the right way,”added the member for Rutherglen and Hamilton West.
And Ms Ferrier says that local Muslims do not support the terror attacks committed by ISIL or any other extremist groups.
“Those I have spoken with are as appalled as we are at what they do,” she added.
“The Muslim community here make a valuable contribution to our society,”she said.
She was also disappointed that PM David Cameron refused to apologise for calling anti war MPs“terrorist sympathisers”.
“It was an appalling thing to say and clearly untrue. And we gave him many chances to apologise; but it wasn’t forthcoming,”said Ms Ferrier.
Labour MSP James Kelly, meanwhile, defended his party’s decision to allow a free vote on the motion.
“This was a huge issue in the country with strong views expressed on either side.
“Labour were right to hold a free vote to reflect the magnitude of the issue and strong views on either side within the party,”he said.
“The strong speeches by Jeremy Corbyn and Hilary Benn contributed to the quality and breadth of the debate in the House of Commons.”
Rutherglen MSP Mr Kelly said that he was horrified by the Paris attacks and the fact that innocent people were brutally murdered while enjoying a night out.
“I understand those who support a position of a need to make a military response after such horrific attacks.
“However, I was not convinced by the arguments in favour of making air strikes against ISIL in Syria.
“And the conduct of SNP MPs like Alex Salmond in attacking Hilary Benn by saying he let his father (Tony Benn) down was shameful,”Mr Kelly added.
Margaret Ferrier MP
James Kelly MSP