Local MP, Andrew George, refused to vote for a Commons motion which supported UK Government involvement in military action against the Gaddafi regime in Libya.
The vote, which took place last night, secured the support of 555 MPs with 13 voting against. The motion welcomed the UN Security Council’s resolution 1973 and offered whole hearted support for UK involvement in the military action.
Whilst Mr George supported the UN resolution, he expressed concern that there were elements within the British Government which sought to go a lot further than the resolution permitted.
During the debate, Mr George questioned the Prime Minister and the Labour Leader, Ed Miliband.
His question was featured on BBC Newsnight last night and can be seen by clicking the link: Newsnight
Mr George said: “I support the UN resolution. I would oppose another Iraq style escapade based on dodgy dossiers, flouting international law and inflaming a new generation of Jihadists.
“We have to be very careful. ‘Mission creep’ is inevitable, but the Defence Secretary’s recent comments suggest we will soon be engaged in ‘mission leap.’ That makes me worry a lot.”
The Defence Secretary, Liam Fox, had said that targeting Colonel Gaddafi could ‘potentially be a possibility’ and that ‘mission accomplished’ would mean the Libyan people free to control their own destiny…The international community wants his regime to end.’
Mr George added: “I don’t like the bloke either. But our job is to protect civilians not to determine who runs the country.”
Andrew George’s full question to the Prime Minister:
The legal note that accompanies the debate makes it clear that the Security Council resolution recognises that Libya
“constitutes a threat to international peace and security.”
Although I do not recommend that we take such action, from the point of view of consistency, why are we not taking action against Yemen?
David Cameron MP, The Prime Minister’s full response: We are obviously extremely disturbed by what is happening in Yemen, particularly recent events. We urge every country in that region to respond to the aspirations of its people with reform, not repression. We have a specific situation in Libya, whereby there was a dictator whose people were trying to get rid of him, who responded with armed violence in the streets. The UN has reached a conclusion and I think that we should back it. As I said the other day, just because we cannot do the right thing everywhere does not mean we should not do it when we have clear permission for and a national interest in doing so. One commentator put it rather well at the weekend: “Why should I tidy my bedroom when the rest of the world is such a mess?” That is an interesting way of putting it.