Katy Clark, MP for North Ayrshire & Arran, was one of just 43 members of the UK Parliament to vote against British forces joining attacks against the terrorist organisation ‘Islamic State’ in Iraq.
The Labour Party’s position last Friday (September 26) in the House of Commons was to support a Tory-Lib Dem Government motion endorsing UK involvement in ongoing airstrikes by American forces. However, Katy Clark broke with her party-line and voted against military action. All five MPs from the Scottish National Party also opposed the UK Government motion.
Explaining why she opposed UK airstrikes, Ms Clark told the3towns.today, “I have been horrified by the brutal actions of ISIS [Islamic State], but I do not believe that UK air strikes will improve the situation. They will, however, increase the risk of terrorist bombings in the UK and are likely to act as a recruiting-sergeant for the fundamentalists.
“These air strikes lack United Nations backing and are not part of a coherent strategy. The military action agreed by Parliament last Friday is open-ended with little, if any, consideration given to an exit strategy. The overall plan is unclear and the Government’s past record does not inspire confidence that they understand the implications of what they are doing. Only last year they were unsuccessful in trying to persuade Parliament to take military action in Syria, which would have been likely to strengthen the very forces they are now taking action against.”
Ms Clark who is on the left of the Labour Party said, “There is no question that the brutality ISIS has shown is horrifying. The conduct of our allies in this initiative is also terrible. The sectarian approach of the Iraqi Government against the Sunni population has been a major factor in creating this problem and needs to be addressed.
“The Saudi Arabian regime has a poor track record in relation to human rights but also to ISIS. Saudi Arabia has the military might to make any air strikes yet is failing to, despite the fact that military action would be best carried out by regional powers which have the military strength to do so. Most importantly, there needs to be a political strategy that addresses all these issues, which are of course complex and difficult but the UK taking part in air strikes will not resolve them and indeed may simply make the situation worse.”