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Bristol Labour MP to vote against air strikes in Syria

Kerry was elected as the Labour Member of Parliament for Bristol East in May 2005 Credit: PA Gareth Fuller

MPs are preparing to vote on whether to join coalition airstrikes in Syria. David Cameron called a one-day Commons debate which will begin today (Dec 2) and will finish later today around 10pm.

Kerry McCarthy, Labour MP for Bristol East, has written a statement on why she has taken the stance to "vote against air strikes".

You can read her full statement here.

Many constituents have expressed their fears that intervention in Syria would significantly increase the risk of attacks on the UK.

Of course, the security of British citizens is of paramount importance to me as an MP, but it is clear that ISIL and similar groups already pose a substantial threat to us all. The horrific attacks in Paris last month are a reminder of this.

It could easily have taken place on British soil. And of course, we should not forget the deaths of 30 British holidaymakers in Tunisia earlier this year. British intelligence agencies have revealed that seven ISIL plots targeting Britain have been foiled in the last year alone, and that there is a clear connection between the threats we face and ISIL headquarters in Raqqa.

It should also be noted that we are already involved in action against ISIL in Iraq, and are providing support to other countries for action against ISIL in Syria.

– Kerry McCarthy, Labour MP for Bristol East

Tackle poverty, religious figures tell PM as Parliament opens

Canon Chancellor Anna Norman-Walker said deficit reduction must not come at the expense of the poor. Credit: ITV News

As the Queen officially opens Parliament today, senior religious figures in the South West are urging the government to put tackling poverty at the heart of its agenda for the next five years.

Canon Chancellor Anna Norman-Walker from Exeter Cathedral says it's vital the most vulnerable are not forgotten by the Prime Minister. She told ITV News West Country that economic prosperity must be felt across society.

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UKIP leader defends immigration policy

UKIP leader Nigel Farage has been in Cornwall today.

His feathers were ruffled during an interview with Ian Axton about UKIP's immigration policy.

The party wants to ban people with certain health problems from entering the UK.

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