Syria action was too great a risk, says Crockhart

Vote: Mike Crockart. Picture: Contributed

Vote: Mike Crockart. Picture: Contributed

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EDINBURGH West Liberal Democrat MP Mike Crockart says he helped defeat the Government over Syria because he believes military action would carry greater risks than stepping back from intervention.

Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy PM Nick Clegg had asked the Commons to back the principle of military action against Syria “if necessary” but lost the vote by 285 to 272.

Mr Crockart said the decision on how to vote in Thursday night’s crucial division was “one of the most difficult” he had faced as an MP.

He said: “On the one hand, we have a humanitarian disaster descending into ever worse atrocities and on the other a mixed history of UK involvement in military interventions with very poor outcomes.

“After careful consideration, I voted against the Labour amendment and the Government motion, both of which set out a route which could ultimately lead to military intervention in Syria.”

He said every course of action – even doing nothing – carried unknown consequences. “It was my judgement that the risks of hasty military intervention are greater than those of stepping back from an attack,” he said. “I will be urging the Government to now put all its efforts into brokering a UN-led solution, and trying to get all factions in the country to the table in the Geneva peace talks. We must also work to ensure that the humanitarian situation in and around Syria is improved.”