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Views divided as Marham crews join Syria air strikes




Labour party activists stage a protest in Lynn town centre against the joint American, British and French military action in Syria
Labour party activists stage a protest in Lynn town centre against the joint American, British and French military action in Syria

West Norfolk-based crews have taken part in air strikes on Syria, launched in retaliation for an alleged chemical weapons attack last week.

Anti-war campaigners, who staged a protest against the action in Lynn on Saturday, have accused the government of exceeding its powers by going ahead with the strikes without consulting Parliament.

But a borough MP has insisted the measure was justified and necessary.

Four Tornado jets took part in the joint American, British and French raids, which were launched during the early hours of Saturday.

RAF Marham is the home of the force’s frontline Tornado squadron, though the planes involved took off from Cyprus.

But the action prompted an anti-war protest in Lynn town centre within hours of the strikes taking place.

Members of the North West Norfolk constituency Labour party say they gathered 230 signatures against the action in just two hours on the High Street.

Party secretary Jo Rust said the majority of respondents supported them, rather than the action.

And she said prime minister Theresa May was wrong to go ahead with the strikes without having a House of Commons vote, in keeping with the convention established ahead of the Iraq war in 2003.

She said: “There is no imminent threat to us. She had no reason not to wait until today or recall Parliament. We live in a democracy, not a dictatorship.”

But South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss defended her leader’s decision.

She said: “The Prime Minister is right to take action with our international allies in Syria.

“It is also right that this should be an executive decision rather than a vote in Parliament. We must do all we can to stop the scourge of chemical weapons.”



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