Bury St Edmunds MP calls for parliamentary vote ahead of any action in Syria

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Bury St Edmunds Conservative MP David Ruffley has revealed he was one of 81 backbenchers who called on Prime Minister David Cameron not to send forces or supply arms to Syria without putting it to the vote in Parliament.

A letter to Mr Cameron signed by the MPs, read: “You will be aware that there is very real concern amongst colleagues and the public about the possibility of British involvement in Syria escalating.

“I am writing to seek assurance that prior to any decision being taken to supply arms to the Syrian National Coalition or any other groups in Syria, a full debate and vote will be held in Parliament and that in additions to this, if Parliament is in recess it should be recalled to facilitate this important debate.

“I believe the division and sensitivity that this issue evokes both with colleagues and the general public dictates that it is a matter that needs to be subjected to full Parliamentary scrutiny and debate before we potentially become further involved in another Middle Eastern conflict.

“I appreciate that in some matters of defence, time does not always allow for a Parliamentary debate; however I do not believe this constraint applies to this potential course of action.

I and the undersigned would be grateful if you could pledge that any decision on whether to arm the Syrian National Coalition or any other group in Syria will be subject to full Parliamentary scrutiny and that you would request a recall of Parliament if necessary to facilitate this.”

Mr Ruffley said Number 10 has since confirmed that any action would be put to the vote.