Letter to David Cameron, Prime Minister, on Middle East crisis
Rt Hon David Cameron MP
10 Downing Street
By post and email
Recall of Parliament
I am writing to you to urge you to recall Parliament as soon as possible.
The Middle East is in turmoil - war in Syria; ongoing crisis in Libya; a mounting civilian death toll in Gaza including hundreds of children and another broken ceasefire; and Iraq torn apart by murderous extremists seeking to advance a caliphate state.
MPs must have the opportunity to debate this growing crisis and Britain’s position.
The UK’s policy is not clear. This morning on the Today Programme the Defence Secretary, Philip Hammond, stated:
“…our strategy regarding ISIL is very clear, we need to contain it, we need to push it back, we need to counter the poisonous ideology that it promotes…”
MPs must have the chance to ask questions on the Parliamentary record about the limits to the policy to ‘push’ ISIL back and how we best counter the brutal ideology of ISIL.
He went on to assert there hadn’t: “been anything that we’ve done so far that has necessitated the recall of parliament…at the moment there is no proposal to commit British troops into combat…”.
Whilst there is no current proposal for UK troops to fight on the ground in Iraq, we are involved - and that involvement is changing significantly from only humanitarian involvement to willingness to supply arms and to put boots on the ground in order to provide training.
There is also the need for an urgent debate around what help and support the UK will provide to refugees. The Government must respond positively to pleas for asylum provision to be made for those needing sanctuary from Iraq in the UK – yet so far it has remained silent.
On Gaza the pertinent questions posed by Baroness Warsi should be replied to by Ministers on the record. Britain’s position on the Israeli Occupation of Palestine and the civilian deaths in Gaza is deeply relevant to the domestic threat that we face from extremists.
MPs must have the opportunity to push further on the many questions that the escalating turmoil in the Middle East poses. The questioning of Government ministers should not be left to journalists.
I hope that your decision to cut your holiday short in recognition of the seriousness of the crisis will extend to a recognition that MPs should have an opportunity to question Ministers.
I urge you to recall Parliament.
Caroline Lucas, MP, Brighton Pavilion