Banbury MP speaks about Syria vote

Victoria Prentis MP NNL-151203-142017001
Victoria Prentis MP NNL-151203-142017001
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North Oxfordshire MP Victoria Prentis has given her views on why she voted yes to the UK joining US-led coalition air strikes against so-called Islamic State.

The Banbury and Bicester MP was one of 397 other MPs who voted for the motion after a ten-hour debate in the House of Commons last Wednesday.

She is also supporting the campaign Singing for Syrians, where communities across the country host carol concerts to support those living in the war-torn country.

The Banbury Choral Society will be hosting a concert in the Methodist Church on Marlborough Road on December 21 at 7.30pm.

In a statement released today (Monday), Mrs Prentis said: “I believe we must do what we can to destroy Daesh, who simply want to kill those of us who do not agree with them.

“The airstrikes we approved in Parliament last week are a continuation of a range of strikes which have been taking place in Iraq against Daesh forces since September 2014.

“They are targeted to destroy these murderous terrorists. There have been no recorded civilian casualties from the existing strikes.

“The equipment we have is the most advanced in the world, and we have been repeatedly assured that all that can be done to reduce the risk of civilian casualties is being done.

“Singing for Syrians is my personal response to try to help the desperate situation of so many Syrians. It provides a positive way to help the most vulnerable people in Syria, whose lives have been ruined by the civil war.

T”he money raised is going to pay the salaries of Syrian doctors in Aleppo, and will also purchase prosthetic limbs – currently, over 30,000 Syrians are waiting for these.

“I have persuaded the Department for International Development to match-fund every pound we make. The idea has taken off, and events are taking place around the country.

“I have noticed that people bring their children to the concerts; many people clearly feel the need to take a positive and hopeful stance against the horror of terrorism and civil war, and Singing for Syrians provides a vehicle for doing this.

“I think it is great that, for example, the Steeple Aston Toddler Group raised £50 singing toddler-friendly Christmas songs at their own “Singing for Syrians” concert last week.

“This is a very new concept – it came to me in September and I’m pleased that we have already raised a significant amount of money for two fantastic charities: Hands Up Foundation and Christian Aid.

“If your workplace, school, church or any other group would like to pass round a collection plate at an event you have already planned, please do send the proceeds to Hands Up Foundation c/o 10a Whorlton Road, London, SE15 3PD.

“Some local businesses have also made significant donations, and we would welcome more of these.

“I fear that the situation in Syria may still be fairly desperate next Christmas. I hope that Singing for Syrians will be able to step up to the challenge.”