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Gravesham MP Adam Holloway votes against Syria military action

PUBLISHED: 14:50 30 August 2013 | UPDATED: 16:09 30 August 2013

Gravesham MP Adam Holloway

Gravesham MP Adam Holloway

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Gravesham MP Adam Holloway defied the government when he voted against taking military action in Syria last night.

Dartford MP Gareth JohnsonDartford MP Gareth Johnson

The motion, which was narrowly defeated by a margin of just 13 votes, said the House of Commons “deplores” the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime and “agrees that a strong humanitarian response is required from the international community and that this may, if necessary, require military action”.

Conservative Mr Holloway was one of 39 coalition MPs to vote against military action while Dartford MP Gareth Johnson, also Conservative, backed Prime Minister David Cameron’s plan for decisive action in Syria.

Mr Johnson said: “The Prime Minister was attempting to show that we were a country prepared to consider the use of military force if necessary, and only if the evidence of the use of chemical weapons was forthcoming. Nothing about the proposal was to authorise the use of force, merely to send a message that we were prepared to consider its use.

“I was prepared to support this element of the proposal because I believe that this would have sent a strong message to those engaged in the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

“I still believe that the UN report will confirm what we believe to be the case, that chemical weapons were used against Syrian civilians, including large numbers of children, which amounts to an international war crime. I would have needed clear evidence that there had been chemical weapons used, that it was the Syrian government that had carried out the attack, and to be satisfied that military action would have achieved what it was proposed to do before I could have supported further motions. I would have needed reassurances too about the type of action proposed.”

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