Support for Theresa May's missile strike in Syria from Aylesbury MP David Lidington
An elected government should have the the power to order military action, Aylesbury's MP said in the wake of missile attacks in Syria.
It has sparked a political row, with some MPs, as well as the leader of the Labour Party, appalled the PM did not seek the backing of Parliament before pressing ahead with military action against the Assad regime. Sites near Damascus and Homs were hit on Saturday in response to the chemical attack on Douma on April 7.
Speaking on ITV’s Peston on Sunday, he said: “Five years ago, Russia promised to deliver a complete end to Syria’s chemical weapons capabilities and that has simply not happened.”
He went on to suggest that the elected Government should be able to have the powers to order military action, adding that governments were accountable to parliaments, but needed to be able to act swiftly and effectively.
He added: “There must be a definite need for urgent humanitarian lead to alleviate human suffering. You must be clear that you’ve exhausted all the other means. The use of chemical weapons has been outlawed for nearly a century. Let’s not forget that there were families cowering in cellars.”
He went on to say that the UK was seeking to hold Assad to account at the UN Security Council.
“The only way we could degrade these weapons and to deter people from using these weapons was through very targeted interventions.”
Opposition parties say MPs should have been consulted before the UK joined forces in bombing three Syrian sites, in response to a suspected chemical attack on the town of Douma.
Labour suggests the military strikes were illegal. The SNP has said it will seek to force a vote, arguing that Theresa May’s decision without prior parliamentary approval was a “disgrace”.