December 10, 2015
Burnham's MP says online trolls have targeted him since Syria vote

Burnham-On-Sea's MP James Heappey said this week that he has been the target of internet trolls since he voted in favour of attacks on Islamic State in Syria.

The MP said that one person had wished a "death by air strike" on the MP and his family, while another said he had "blood on his hands."

Mr Heappey, a former soldier, was one of dozens of MPs who were criticised online following the vote in favour of bombing.

Mr Heappey’s speech during the Commons debate was singled out for praise by Labour party shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn.

Mr Heapey said in Parliament: "On three occasions, I left my family and boarded a plane bound for Afghanistan or Iraq. As the plane went through the clouds, I took what could have been my final look out of the window at this country. When you do that, you cannot help wondering whether the people who have stood in this place have made the right decision, whether the nation is with you, and whether what you are going to do is worthwhile."

Mr Heappey told the debate that the RAF was in a position to carry out deadly accurate attacks on Daesh, and he reminded the house that putting British troops into Syria could be counter productive.

He said: "In Basra, my battle group was fighting an insurgency that existed almost entirely because we were there. The 70,000 Syrians and 20,000 Kurds under arms could, and should, become a cohesive and capable force, but the bombing campaign will buy the time for them to be manoeuvred into the place where we need them to be, so that we can co-ordinate their efforts in support of the air strikes."


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