WITH Remembrance Sunday taking place this weekend, this time of year always serves as a reminder that being an MP can be a great responsibility as well as an immense privilege.
The question of whether or not to vote for military action is one of the toughest decisions an MP can be asked to make, and it is one that is never taken lightly.
This week, David Cameron decided against putting proposals for UK air strikes against Islamic State militants in Syria to a Commons vote. This is because the Prime Minister knows that MPs are now hesitant to put members of our armed forces in harm’s way unless there really is no other alternative.
At this time of year, we remember the tremendous sacrifices made by those who serve in the armed forces and their loved ones. As I take part in a number of remembrance events across Rochdale in the coming days, I will be taking the opportunity to reflect on the proud history of military service that so many families in our town have.
I was among the MPs who voted against action in Syria when the House of Commons last debated it in 2013 and it will take a strong argument to get me to change my mind.
I am always humbled by the sacrifices our military personnel are willing to make. As MPs, we must ensure they are never asked to make those sacrifices unless it is absolutely necessary.