Leeds Green Party expresses dismay at vote to bomb Syria

4 December 2015

Leeds Green Party has expressed its dismay over Wednesday night’s vote to bomb Syria, which was backed by several Leeds MPs, despite a lack of evidence that air strikes will improve security in the region and at home, and suggestions they could make matters worse.

Leeds Green Party is opposed to the decision made on Wednesday to begin a campaign of aerial bombardment in Syria, a mission it believes lacks clear objectives and is likely to lead to high civilian casualties, exacerbate the refugee crisis and drive further recruitment to the cause of extremists. Leeds Green Party activists have been campaigning for a no vote.

The Party is especially disappointed at the actions of Leeds Central MP and Shadow Foreign Secretary, Rt Hon Hilary Benn, whose sentiments expressed in his speech advocating bombing are not shared by many of his constituents. See which Leeds MPs voted which way here.

Chris Bell, Leeds Green Party activist from Morley, says: "Leeds Green Party members have been actively campaigning against bombing in Syria, as have our national party leaders. There are compelling reasons why MPs should have voted no: it's likely to further exacerbate the refugee crisis and cause terrible suffering, when there are other - we argue more effective - strategies available to combat ISIS. We don't believe the government has made a convincing case that bombing would help secure peace in the region or make the UK or elsewhere safer. In fact, evidence suggests there is real danger that bombing could even strengthen ISIS by encouraging more people to sign up. We are therefore dismayed that several Leeds MPs, including Hilary Benn and my MP Andrea Jenkyns, voted yes for an inhumane and unevidenced move like this."

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