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Only one Sussex MP votes against Syria military action, but Cameron still defeated
Sussex MPs overwhelmingly backed plans for military action in Syria - but it wasn't enough to save David Cameron from a humiliating Commons defeat.
Thirteen of the county's MPs voted in favour of the Prime Minister's watered-down amendment which could have paved the way for military action by British forces in war-torn Syria.
Only Brighton Pavilion's Green MP Caroline Lucas voted against the amendment while Chichester's Andrew Tyrie did not vote.
Former children's minister and Worthing East and Shoreham MP Tim Loughton voted in both lobbies - which under Parliamentary conventions registers a technical abstention.
The issue of intervention split MPs with 285 voting against the Prime Minister's amendment and 272 for in a dramatic night in Parliament on Thursday.
But the topic appears much less divisive among the general population with half of Britons believing military involvement in Syria is not worth it and less than a quarter supporting military intervention in response to President Assad's alleged use of chemical weapons, according to YouGov research.
Brighton Kemptown MP Simon Kirby said: “I have always been clear that I would not back sending troops to Syria and that any action should not be entered into lightly and must be legal, proportionate and focused on saving lives after UN weapons inspectors have reported back.
“I listened very closely to the debate but, as a father myself, could not ignore the scenes on the news of the victims, many of them children, of the chemical weapon attacks in Syria by the Assad regime.
“Therefore I, reluctantly, felt compelled to support the motion.”
Hove MP Mike Weatherley said: “Most of my constituents are passionate about preventing the use of deadly chemical weapons but many are worried about committing troops and resources in another conflict.
“A robust debate has been held in Parliament and an open vote taken.
“We must now monitor the situation closely.”
West Worthing MP Peter Bottomley said: “What should happen next, after confirmation of the chemicals and clear evidence that the attack was by Assad's forces, is for the UN Security Forces to agree, supported by Russia and China, that President Assad must stop any use of chemicals and should end the civil war by leaving.
“It is not easy to make a confident prediction but I believe some in Labour's leadership know if they started playing domestic politics and they may come to find that heavy on their consciences.”
East Worthing MP Tim Loughton said: “I decided that I could not support a Government position that, despite its wording, would still be seen by most people as the green light for a precursor for military intervention at the next step, sometime soon.
“I hope also that this situation will cause the US to desist from some of their rather too 'gung ho' responses on military action in the past now that it will be without their major ally.”
Arundel and South Downs MP Nick Herbert, writing before the vote, said: “We cannot keep ruling out any kind of military intervention while watching Assad's grip tighten and the jihadis gain strength.”
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