David Ruffley refused to back David Cameron’s vote for actio n against Syria because he did not think an adequate case had been made.
The Bury St Edmunds MP says he told the Prime Minister personally before the debate that he had ‘grave concerns about a so-called surgical strike’ called for in response to the alleged chemical attack on Syrian civilians in Ghutah.
After Thursday’s vote he said: “I broke a three line whip and declined to vote for Mr Cameron’s motion because I did not believe he made an adequate case for UK military intervention.
“I took advice from military people whom I trust. They advised me that such bombing would have a limited effect and would in all likelihood cause civilian casualties.
“It could also escalate into a regional war involving Israel and Iran among others. In my view Mr Cameron’s proposed course of action ran a high risk of making a bad situation worse.
“I did not go into any division lobby because I did not want to be in any lobby with the cynically opportunist Labour Party. As a result I made a principled abstention,declining to support Mr Cameron’s motion.
“I believe this was a good day for British democracy because Parliament expressed the people’s will on this most grave of issues for our country and our Armed Forces.”
West Suffolk MP Matthew Hancock voted on party lines and tweeted afterwards: “Proud to support PM in his drive for tough response to Assad’s use of chemical weapons. Proud too of our respect for decision of Parliament.”
The government’s call for backing for military action against the Syrian regime was defeated by 13 votes.