Local MP Bill Wiggin refused to support the Coalition Government motion in the House of Commons last night because it left the door ajar for armed engagement with Syria.

Bill Wiggin MP said: “I do not believe my constituents wanted us to go to war and I do not want to see British servicemen’s lives put at risk in a conflict that is a civil war.

“It is not clear yet from the UN weapons inspectors what exactly happened, but I condemn the use of chemical weapons unequivocally.

“The motion before the House would have allowed a second vote before any cruise missiles would have been fired at Syrian air defences. This made it difficult to vote against as I have always called for a vote in the Commons before escalating the situation in Syria.

“However I could not vote for the motion as I do not wish to see Britain become embroiled in another conflict in the Middle East.

“I therefore withdrew my support from the Coalition Government.

“I also refused to support the Labour Party as I believe they were trying to score party political points on a matter of national security.

“This was an important vote and I spoke in the debate because of my concerns that any intervention in a civil war can soon become an agenda for regime change which is illegal under the UN convention.

“After Tony Blair, the dodgy dossier and Iraq in 2003 all MPs are justifiably nervous of another Iraq.

“My constituents and I did not feel that Britain’s involvement would necessarily lead to President Assad ceasing his use of chemical weapons. Therefore I am pleased with the result of the division and relieved that British servicemen will not be putting their lives at risk in Syria.”