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Syria sceptic Zac Goldsmith votes with Government but still opposes war
Syria sceptic Zac Goldsmith voted with the Government last night saying the motion no longer resembled a declaration of war.
The Richmond Park and North Kingston MP had said military action would be “utter madness” before yesterday’s vote in the House of Commons.
But he voted in favour with Prime Minister David Cameron and the Government after the motion was re-written.
He said in a blog this morning: “Following intense pressure from myself and other backbenchers, the Government re-wrote its Motion so that it was no longer anything resembling a declaration of war.
“I remain absolutely opposed to intervention of course, but the motion as it became was not something I could oppose, as it is effectively a condemnation and a call to the international community to act together.
“It doesn’t take us closer to war, and in any case it includes a commitment to hold a vote should that change.”
Mr Goldsmith said he spoke to David Cameron before the vote and was told: “the clear lack of appetite for action among the backbenches meant that intervention was in any case no longer even an option”.
He said: “Parliament, and in particular backbenchers can take credit for averting what seemed a certain path to war, and can be proud that it effectively held the Executive to account.
“Although I do not celebrate the fact that the Government lost a symbolically important vote, and although I believe the motion was so watered down that it no longer merited rejection by those like me opposed to war, the net result in my view is undoubtedly good.”
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