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Richard Arkless MP: 'Over 96% of the constituents who contacted me asked me to vote against air strikes'

SNP MP Richard Arkless Credit: ITV Border

SNP MP Richard Arkless yesterday voted against David Cameron’s proposals for military escalation, including airstrikes, in Syria.

The House of Commons debated the subject for over 10 hours during the course of Wednesday and in the final vote MPs voted to support air strikes over Syria by 397 votes to 223.

Mr. Arkless said:

The Prime Minister did not make a convincing case for air strikes and I was proud to add my name to the cross-party amendment calling for the government to support a political solution rather than a military response to the situation in Syria.

The SNP has always taken the position that we would not support the extension of military action in Syria if the Prime Minister failed to answer the key questions posed to him by the Foreign Affairs Select Committee. By a majority, the committee found that he had not addressed these concerns.

This issue has been hugely emotive for my constituents and over the last week I have been overwhelmed with letters, emails, telephone calls and messages from people all over Dumfries and Galloway expressing their concerns about military action in Syria. It was very clear to me that the vast majority of people wanted me to vote against the strikes and I support them in this view. Over 96% of the constituents who contacted me asked me to vote against air strikes and having looked at all the evidence, that is what I decided to do.

– MP Richard Arkless

Border region's MPs vote on Syria air strikes

Ground crew work on a RAF Tornado GR4. Credit: PA

In Cumbria four MPs have voted in favour of air strikes against so-called IS targets in Syria, while one MP voted against.

In the south of Scotland, two MPs voted against air strikes, while one MP voted in favour:

MPs who voted in favour of air strikes against IS targets. Credit: ITV Border
MPs who voted against carrying out air strikes. Credit: ITV Border
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