Dewsbury and Batley MPs divided on Islamic State vote

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MPs have been recalled to parliament to make a decision on Britain taking part in air strikes in Iraq to combat extremist group Islamic State.

The country has not yet been involved in direct military action against the group, which has taken over vast swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria.

Dewsbury MP Simon Reevell (Con) welcomed the vote, which will take place tomorrow (Friday), and said he would support military action.

“I shall do so because I believe it is the right thing to do. I know that the consequences for hostages may be dire and that is something that troubles me greatly. But doing nothing in the face of this terror would be even worse,” he said.

But Batley and Spen MP Mike Wood (Lab) said air strikes would not help the situation.

He said: “I can see no justification for Britain joining a coalition to bomb Iraq or Syria so unless anyone can offer compelling reasons or telling arguments tomorrow I shall be voting against military action.

“Everyone is appalled by the barbarity of ISIS and I am convinced they need to be confronted but the issue is how do we make the situation better, not worse? I am very keen to see what alternative ideas for confronting ISIS are presented but the idea we can eradicate them through air strikes alone is nonsense.”

The debate will discuss the possibility of air strikes in Iraq, which will be followed by a vote.

Air strikes have been formally requested by the Iraqi government, but Syria is considered to be a separate matter with different ethical and legal factors.

The leaders of the three main parties have expressed support for air strikes in Iraq.