Wimbledon people have their say after MP Stephen Hammond defends failed Syria vote in Parliament
MP for Wimbledon, Stephen Hammond, has voted in favour of authorising UK military action against Syria.
The Government’s motion, over potential intervention in the civil war-torn country, was defeated 285-272 on Thursday night.
David Cameron had come under increasing pressure from the USA to act in the two-year conflict after images emerged suggesting chemical weapons had be used upon civilians.
Defending his decision Mr Hammond said: "The motion I am being asked to vote upon deplores the use of chemical weapons in Syria against civilians on 21 August which caused 350 deaths and thousands of injuries.
"The motion is not to sanction military action in Syria for or against any side or for the UK to commit itself to military intervention in Syrian civil war.
"The vote is to uphold a long-held British position and principle that we reject the use of chemical weapons in warfare.
"Tonight’s vote only sanctions action that is confined to degrading those weapons and deterring their use.
"The Government recognises the real and understandable concerns in the country caused by what happened over Iraq.
"We are committed to only taking action in the correct manner.
"We welcome the work of the United Nations team and we will consider its results.
"We are committed to securing a UN Security Council Resolution before any action is taken.
"Moreover before any action is undertaken there will be a further vote of the House of Commons."
The motion called for a humanitarian response from the international community, backed "if necessary" by military action.
We spoke to the people of Wimbledon about whether they agree or disagree with their MP’s decision and found a majority of people opposed UK military action:
Jackie Sullivan, St. Mary's Road, Wimbledon: "Parliament has made a democratic decision to say no, and I am happy with that decision as when we went barging into military action without consensus before we suffered from it.
"I do not know what good military action would do, but it is awful to see people being killed.
"Without more evidence we cannot make a clear decision yet."
Roger Wilkes, 72, Mostyn Road, Merton Park: "It is a difficult one, but I think no, we should not intervene.
"It is difficult because the situation in Syria is inhumane and that leaves me sitting on the fence.
"I was against the Iraqi war and I would not want us to have an involvement with another war.
"But this is a horrific situation and maybe an alternative could be thought of, like what happened in Libya with the no fly zone."
Celia Bell, 81, St. Mary's Road, Wimbledon: "I disagree with military action as I think that it is not thought through enough and it is too dangerous to enter into something without proper thought.
"For military action to happen there needs to be a proper plan in place, otherwise there could be too many mistakes like what has happened in the past."
Victoria Harris 70, Sheridan Road, Merton Park: "I think most people thought we would not get involved and I think the MP will regret his decision.
"I do not want soldiers to risk their lives as intervention could make the situation worse.
"While I do not want civilians bombed, we need to think about the repercussions of our involvement."
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