Two MPs who represent towns and villages in the Diss Express area refused to back David Cameron’s vote for action in Syria.
South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon was one of 30 ‘Tory rebels’ who joined forces with Labour MPs to help defeat the Prime Minister’s plans for a response to the alleged chemical attack on Syrian civilians in Ghutah by just 13 votes.
And David Ruffley, the Bury St Edmunds MP whose constituency includes north Suffolk villages such as Rickinghall and Bacton, abstained from voting because he did not think an adequate case had been made.
Mr Bacon, who also voted against Tony Blair’s Iraq war in Parliament in 2003, said “humanitarian aid cannot be delivered on a cruise missile”, and stressed that he wanted to vote against the principle of military action. The 50-year-old, added: “On the Tuesday to Thursday before the vote, I had about 60 emails from constituents, all of whom asked me to vote against the motion. I was in Diss on Monday following the vote, and the response I received was supportive of the stance I took.”
Mr Ruffley said: “I took advice from military people whom I trust. They advised me such bombing would have little effect and would likely cause civilian casualties.” On why he decided to abstain, Mr Ruffley added: “I did not go into any division lobby because I did not want to be in any lobby with the cynically opportunist Labour Party.”
Elizabeth Truss, the MP for parts of south Norfolk including East Harling and Banham, and Dr Dan Poulter, MP for most of the villages and towns in north Suffolk, including Eye, voted in favour of Cameron’s proposals.
Following the defeat, the Prime Minister said it was clear Parliament did not want British military action in Syria.