Cambridge MP votes against UK military action in Iraq

Catherine Maguire 27 September 2014

Cambridge Liberal Democrat MP Julian Huppert has voted against British military action in Iraq against Islamic State (IS) targets.

Speaking to The Cambridge News, Huppert explained that whilst IS is "a nasty, brutal regime that treats people atrociously", he felt that it was "hard to see how dropping bombs will help to bring peace to the area.

"I was also very aware of the civilian casualties that were likely, and the recent comments from the International Committee of the Red Cross that international air strikes have exacerbated the humanitarian problems in the region", he added.

Huppert was one of 43 MPs who voted against the motion to endorse attacks on the Islamic extremist group on Friday, and the only Liberal Democrat. 23 Labour MPs opposed the motion, as well as the SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Northern Irish SDLP. Six Conservative Party members also voted against the move. 

Following an overwhelming display of support from the House of Commons, the Ministry of Defence has confirmed that RAF Tornado jets have since taken off from RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus. They join both France and the United States in taking military action against IS. 

Islamic State is a radical Islamist group that has captured large swathes of land in Syria and Iraq. Aiming to establish an Islamic caliphate governed by Sharia law, the group has gained extensive attention following their persecution of ethnic and religious minorities and the beheading of several journalists, including the Briton David Haines. More than 500 British citizens are believed to have travelled to Syria to fight with the group. 

Prime Minister David Cameron said that IS forces are "psychopathic terrorists trying to kill us".