Behind the headlines with Dewsbury and Mirfield MP Simon Reevell


This week Parliament was recalled. Previously this has occurred over Libya, the riots and most recently following Margaret Thatcher’s death.

Historically it was an unusual event and remains so despite this being the fourth occasion since the election in 2010.

This time the recall was because of the situation in Syria, where there is a civil war taking place.

At the moment there is something of a stalemate between government and opposition. But last week the Syrian government used nerve gas on its own people, including women and children.

Many hundreds died in agony. They weren’t armed or even directly involved in the fighting. Using chemical weapons in that way – murdering innocent civilians – is simply wrong.

The civil war is for the Syrians to resolve, but the use of nerve gas against children should concern every right-minded person. The government’s view is that we should show how much we condemn this use of chemical weapons by attacking parts of the Syrian government’s military infrastructure.

By using cruise missiles fired from the sea we remove the risk of casualties to our armed forces and show the Syrian government that if they murder civilians in this way their armed forces will suffer.

With the civil war in stalemate they cannot afford for this to happen and hopefully will be deterred from using such weapons again. I support that view.

If the person next door was trying to gas his children, you and I would do everything to try and stop him even if the reasons for his behaviour were none of our business.

In the circumstances of was has happened in Syria I believe that, as a nation with the capability to intervene, we have a similar responsibility.

The person who said to me that “they were not British and they lived a long way away” was right, but no one should die in that way, let alone a child.

We should do all we can to stop it happening again.