MP seeks views on Islamic State fight

Andrew Stephenson MP
Andrew Stephenson MP

Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson has asked for his constituents’ views on UK involvement in the fight against Islamic State, or IS, the terrorist movement that has taken over large parts of Iraq and Syria.

With Parliament likely to be recalled to sit on Friday to debate UK involvement in air strikes against the group, MPs are expected to be asked to vote in favour of joining an international coalition including the United States and regional Arab states Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. The coalition of forces began strikes against IS on Monday.

Speaking from his office in Nelson, Andrew Stephenson MP said: “When Parliament last had a debate like this, about taking military action against the Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad, military involvement was something I was very sceptical of. Engaging in a war is a huge decision and most Pendle residents who contacted me were very much opposed to involvement too.

“This time, I have had lots of people contact me deeply concerned about IS, including local church groups who deplore their barbaric acts and killing of civilians.

“I do believe there is a much stronger case that air strikes alongside other countries could be effective, but the outcome of any military action is always uncertain. If I am asked to vote to support military action later this week, I would like to do so knowing the view of Pendle residents.

“I encourage those with a view either way to get in touch and let me know how they would like me to vote.”