UK’s involvement in air strikes is right decision

From House to Home with Amber Rudd MP SUS-140930-131155001
From House to Home with Amber Rudd MP SUS-140930-131155001

My Fridays at home in Hastings and Rye are a welcome relief from the frenetic world of Westminster.

Usually they are filled with charity events, visits to schools and meetings with local businesses.

But last Friday morning, rather than attending many local Macmillan coffee mornings as I had intended, I was recalled back to London with other MPs to debate UK airstrikes against ISIL.

I have received a large number of letters and emails on this subject, both for and against UK involvement.

So I understand that this debate is an issue that many people feel incredibly strongly about.

I voted to join the Coalition taking part in the airstrikes over Iraq.

I understand fully the seriousness of this decision and it is not one that I, or any MP, took lightly.

Many of you, in your letters to me, were worried about the risk to the British military and Iraqi civilians.

This is also a concern to me.

I am pleased that the UK is a leading contributor to the humanitarian relief effort in Iraq.

We have announced £23 million of assistance and the RAF has undertaken 17 aid drops over different conflict zones in Iraq, successfully distributing food, water, tents and other necessities to help people affected by the conflict.

Unlike other debates we have in Parliament this was not a debate between the Conservatives and Labour, or the Coalition and the Opposition.

Members across all parties supported the motion because this is not a party political issue.

This is a situation which is distinct from the military debates that have come before.

The big difference is that it is the Iraqi Government that has asked the UK for assistance against ISIL.

For that reason, I am convinced that the UK’s involvement is the right action to take.

We return to Parliament now on October 13 so I hope to catch up with those events that I had to miss last Friday, during the next few weeks.

With lots of fantastic local events to look forward to from Hastings week to bonfire nights in both Hastings and Rye, October is always a great month locally. This year’s Hastings Week starts next Saturday (October 11) and runs until the grand bonfire and torch procession on Saturday October 18. For more information and full listings visit www.visit1066country.com/events/hastings-week.